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West Chester United falls on penalties to FC Motown in NPSL conference final

FC Motown won the conference postseason title for the fourth straight time

Matt Ralph

West Chester United battled their rivals to a 1-1 draw in regulation and after trading goals in extra time saw their NPSL season end in a penalty shootout to FC Motown.

FC Motown captured the Keystone Conference postseason crown for the fourth straight time and advanced to the East region semifinal but the Predators gave them everything they had in another classic clash between two of the regions best amateur programs.

After trading spells of possession and chance creation, FC Motown was able to find an opening goal through Franco Catania just before halftime. Catania had the game-winner to open the scoring against Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals in Friday’s semifinal.

As the Ukies found in Friday’s semifinal, FC Motown was even harder to break down with the 1-0 lead. But some energy off the bench — and an assist on a no-call for a penalty shout in the box — helped Blaise Santangelo’s squad find their way back in. Bachstein combined with Drexel teammate Harrison Coron and Coron found Ryan Jammes for an easy tap-in at the far post to tie things up 1-1 in the 68th minute.

Still tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation, the teams headed to extra time where Bachstein was able to get a penalty call in the box and put the visitors up 2-1. The lead was short-lived as Daniel Cordeiro was able to dance his way into the box and tie things up 2-2 less than two minutes later.

Joe Fala had a huge chance to win the game for the hosts late in extra time but his attempt off a well-played cross hit the underside of the crossbar and stayed out. FC Motown keeper David Greczek saved the first two kicks from West Chester and they were never able to find a way back in the 4-2 shootout win.

It was the second time West Chester lost on PKs in the conference postseason final. They lost to FC Motown on kicks in 2018.

The playoff elimination marks the end of both the NPSL and USL League Two seasons for West Chester United. West Chester finished second behind Ocean City Nor’easters in the Mid-Atlantic Division of USL2 but came up short of qualifying for the playoffs (Christos FC earned the wild card bid with a second place finish in the Chesapeake Division).

Next up, the Predators will travel to Tennessee in mid-August for the Werner Fricker Cup semifinal ahead of the start of the USL of Pennsylvania season.