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West Chester United and Vereinigung Erzgebirge renew rivalry after U.S. Open Cup cancelation

The rivals were scheduled to meet in a U.S. Open Cup match that was canceled because of Covid-19

Troy Amspacher and Fraser Colmer battle for a ball in the air in a USL of Pa. match on September 27, 2020
Matt Ralph

Local amateur clubs Vereinigung Erzgebirge and West Chester United took to the field Sunday for the first time since seeing their first round U.S. Open Cup match canceled when the 2020 edition of the competition was scratched.

It was a much different stage than they would have been competing on in the Open Cup, but as has often been the case between the two teams the outcome was hard fought in a battle at the table going into the match in the early going of the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania Majors division.

West Chester United got a brace from Drexel forward Chris Donovan, who scored in each half, and first half goals from Colin Muller and Penn forward Joey Bhangdia to lead them to a 4-2 win. Angelo Dambalas and Gregory Shertzer had the goals for VE in the match, played at United Sports in Downingtown.

VE got on the board early on a free kick from Sean Peckham that found the head of Dambalas, who headed it past Penn goalkeeper Dane Jacomen. The Predators threatened for an equalizer in the 20th minute when Loyola University midfielder Sam Brown played Troy Amspacher in with a line-breaking pass, but defender Mike Reese was able to get back and clear Amspacher’s shot off the line. The breakthrough did come in the 26th minute for the home side when Colin Muller hit a half volley from 20 yards out that caught the keeper off his line.

Donovan made it 2-1 six minutes later when Shane Bradley served a long ball to him on the run and he was able to beat a defender and tap it past the keeper coming off his line. It was a connection between the defense and the front line that set up the third goal for West Chester when Luca Mellor played a ball off a cleared free kick back into the box through traffic to Bhangdia, who curled his shot in.

Donovan made it 4-1 in the 59th minute when Brown played Amspacher into the box and he crossed it to the far post for a tap-in for Donovan.

VE pulled back to within two goals after Fraser Colmer and Evan Vare combined down the left flank and Vare was able to get a cross through the box that Shertzer hit first time past Jacomen, but the score would hold the rest of the way. You can watch a video of the match with live commentary on MyCujoo.

The United German Hungarians moved into second place with a third straight shutout victory on Sunday over Phoenix SC. They have a matching 3-0 record with West Chester United, but the Predators already have a plus 11 goal differential (15-4) to UGH’s plus 4 (4-0).