ELIZABETH - Sevag Kherlopian acknowledges there is still a learning curve when it comes to developing the desired on-field chemistry with his new teammates. But in the mean time, the forward certainly knows how to make a good first impression.
Playing in his first match as a member of the Jersey Express, Kherlopian scored the game-winning goal in the 85th minute, giving the Express a 2-1 victory over division rival Long Island Wednesday night at Williams Field.
With the victory, the Express (2-1) move into fifth place in the PDL’s Mid-Atlantic Division, and in the process, avenged a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Roughriders on May 16.
“It’s very big. That first impression in a game is very important for your team to see how you play,” said Kherlopian, who entered the game as a substitution to start the second half. “I think I played well and I think they have a belief in me and hopefully we get another three points next game.”
“He has something different,” said coach Anderson Da Silva. In the first practice he showed that. I think we saw that he could help the team right away and he proved it. Not just because he scored, but because he was able to hold the ball and play with our players in such a short period of time.”
Kherlopian’s goal, which came off a pass down the left side from William DaSilva, ensured a positive result in what was shaping up to be a disappointing night for the Express.
The Express had jumped to a quick 1-0 lead on Christopher Karcz’s goal just 6:09 into the contest. From that point forward, the visiting Rough Riders controlled the possession and had the majority of the scoring chances.
Long Island finally broke through in the 82nd minute when Joe Holland received a feed from the left side and beat keeper Matthew Turner for the tying goal.
Turner made four saves for the Jersey Express, the most impressive coming on a Holland shot from 10 yards out in the 34th minute. Moments later, Long Island’s Keith Detelj rang a shot off the crossbar.
Overall, the Express were outshot by a 12-5 margin by the Rough Riders. Long Island, which had four corner kicks compared to the Express’ one, got two saves from keeper Erik Orologio.
While the final numbers may not have looked pretty, for Anderson Da Silva, it was the kind of performance he was happy to see from his team.
“When you fight really hard (it’s great),” he said. “I really like games where you have to fight really hard and then win at the end. It feels much better than if you just win against a team like 4-0. It feels pretty good right now.”
Full game video click here