While Uruguay were putting Portugal out of football’s World Cup in Russia, Cambridge’s fortunes in the Northern League were being boosted by their own Uruguayan hero on Saturday.
South American-born Marcelo Sosa, playing his first season for the Reds, scored a spectacular winning goal to give Cambridge a vital 1-0 victory against Onehunga Mangere United.
When the Aucklanders failed to clear a corner in the 52nd minute of their match at John Kerkhof Park, 30-year-old Sosa coolly volleyed his shot past OMU goalkeeper Hamish Connolly.
The goal – and the Reds’ first clean sheet of the season – ensured a first win for Cambridge coach Paul Richardson who had endured five frustrating draws since taking charge in early May. For the opening 20 minutes, Cambridge exerted all the pressure and had the best of the chances. But it was Onehunga Mangere who almost scored first when they found the net in the 37th minute only to have it ruled offside.
In the second half, both teams had opportunities from set pieces, but Sosa’s goal proved to be the difference.
The win lifts Cambridge into mid-table and leaves Onehunga Mangere United flirting with the relegation zone. After the match, Cambridge coach Richardson named centre back Jack Portegys as the Player of the Day while OMU’s coach Brian Turner chose goalkeeper Connolly as his side’s best performer.
This Saturday, Cambridge head to Auckland for a mid-table clash with Metro FC and a win will lift the Reds above their opponents and into sixth spot on the 12-team table.
More Cambridge football results
Cambridge’s reserves, who won by default last weekend when OMU failed to field a team for their fixture, will play Metro in the early game tomorrow, seeking their eighth win in a row.
In the Loaded WaiBOP Championship last weekend, Cambridge had a bye.
Cambridge’s Waikato A team were chasing their fourth win in a row when they headed to Melville United’s Gower Park, but lost a close encounter 3-2. Peter Buesnel scored both Cambridge goals, one from the penalty spot.
The Cambridge D2 team Northern United 2-1 in an upset win at John Kerkhof Park, a result that helps fellow club side D1s retain top spot in the division.
Scorer of both goals for the D2s was Rob Dickson.
The D1 team had a bye but go into the quarter finals of the Waikato Plate this Saturday, hosting Te Aroha Cobras in a 2pm match.
Cambridge’s women’s team moved into second place on the Waikato Women’s A League table with a 1-0 win at Claudelands Rovers’ Galloway Park.
Scorer was Rachel Hill, with her 18th goal of the season. The Hill Homes Player of the Day was awarded jointly to Gemma Martin and Carey Ireland.
The Cambridge women play in the quarter finals of the Waikato Women’s Cup on Sunday, hosting Tokoroa at John Kerkhof Park for an 11am game.
In the WaiBOP Federation Junior League, Cambridge’s U-12 side went down 3-2 to Taupo at Crown Park after leading 1-0 at half-time.
Both Cambridge goals were scored by Jamie Kenny.