DANBURY — It was not pretty but at this point in the season, there are no points for style.
No. 6 Danbury scored eight minutes into the game then held on as No. 11 Naugatuck did all it could to tie the game over the final 20 minutes of play.
In the end, Danbury escaped with a 1-0 win in the CIAC Class LL second-round game. The Hatters will now host No. 19 East Hartford in Saturday’s quarterfinals. East Hartford upset No. 3 Fairfield Prep 3-0 on Thursday afternoon.
It is the third straight trip to the quarterfinals for Danbury.
“It feels good. It’s the same situation as last year, hopefully we can pull out a win this time. Any team that beats Prep 3-0 is going to be a tough matchup. Luckily, we have them at home but we know it will be a tough game,” Danbury center back Tyler Warren said. “(Naugatuck) put up a lot of pressure in the second half. At some points they had four strikers up there which was tougher to deal with, but I think we contained them well.”
Danbury looked sharp out of the gate, attacking and generating scoring chances before Tiago Dos Reis dribbled into the box, passing to wide-open Malamin Jallow who finished with a touch for the goal.
Danbury had opportunities to extend its lead, but missed wide on several quality scoring chances in a first half that also saw it called for offsides five times.
Over the final minutes of the first half and into the second, Naugatuck began creating more offensive chances, really cranking up the engines over the final 20 minutes.
Danbury keeper Matthew Silva was called upon to make several saves in the second half on blistering shots with nothing finding its way to the back of the net.
“I thought outside of the first 15 minutes, where were still finding our feet against a good team, we were fantastic,” Naugatuck coach Ryan Kinne said. “I thought we settled down, created some chances, got some possessions had them on their heels, a bit. It was just unfortunate we couldn’t sneak one in there.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Tyler Warren, Danbury. As the Naugatuck offensive pressure built, Warren was there in the back time and time again to turn the ball out and back up field.
“We haven’t been playing well, which is the crazy thing. At the end of the day, it’s all about winning now. I’d rather play poorly and win than play well and lose, obviously, but we have to be better,” Danbury coach Anthony Howard said. “Credit to Naugatuck, they came out second half and put pressure on us. This is a state cup game and we panicked a little and didn’t stick to our game. I know how well we can play; we just need to string together a full 80 minutes.”
DANBURY 1, NAUGATUCK 0
NAUGATUCK 0 0—0
DANBURY 1 0—1
Records: N—10-4-3; D—11-1-5
Goals: D—Malamin Jallow. Assists: D—Thiago Dos Reis. Goalies: N—Brandon Sampaio 8 saves; D—Matthew Silva 8 saves