Two pieces of clinical finishing from Brazilian striker Junior Alencar in the second half saw the Boston Victory fall to a 2-0 defeat to Worcester Hydra in the Quincy-based club’s opening home game.
A crowd of 546 at Veterans Memorial Stadium saw a physical first half followed by Alencar’s 70th minute header and second strike seven minutes later as the Hydra took all three Premier Development League points.
The deadlock was broken with 20 minutes to play as Michael Soboff delivered a perfect cross into the penalty area and Alencar rose unopposed to head home with the home goal exposed. With Boston still reeling, Brett Uttley split the defense and Alencar picked his spot past Jordan Bar for his second goal.
“It’s a hard loss to take in our own stadium,” said Victory coach Sergio Taborda. “The first half was very even but in the second we lost the battles in the midfield and we didn’t receiver when we needed to. We made mistakes that led to the two goals and that is very upsetting. We can not let that happen.”
Lucas Pessanha, who scored the winning goal away to CFC Azul last week, had enjoyed the best of the early chances for the Victory, driving just wide of the right post and then mustered a shot from a tight space, but saw the ball blocked.
Boston skipper Andrew Sousa endured some rough treatment as the Victory looked to the former New England Revolution midfielder to create chances through the middle. Then Hydra striker Alencar, who had a hopeful appeal for a penalty waved away, fired a shot across the face of goal in the 26th minute.
The visitors tested Bar with speculative efforts from Alencar and Bruno Bonicontro that barely troubled the home keeper. In reply, Sousa delivered a free kick into the area, which Oliver Brum gathered at the second attempt under pressure from Wagner Silva.
With each team having committed seven fouls with only half an hour on the clock, referee Matt Mercier spoke to both captains to calm what was threatening to become a headted clash and Silva was the recipient of the game’s first yellow card as he committed the next infringement. Sousa and Matheus Assaf also found their way into the referee’s notebook.
Eight minutes before the break, Soboff found himself in space on the left hand side of the Victory penalty area and his shot was helped into side netting for a corner by Bar. With a minute to play until the interval, Soboff looped a free kick over the wall from almost 25 yards, but Bar made an easy grab.
As the Hydra enjoyed the better of the closing stages of the half, Russell Guidici got on the end of a deep cross but his diving header fell wide.
Victory coach Sergio Taborda will rally his side for a double-header of games next week, traveling to Western Mass Pioneers on Friday night before taking on Seacoast United in Quincy on Saturday, May 19 at 7pm.