Spartans down Eagles 3-0 in battle of El Centro

January 13, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA,Staff Writer

El Centro's rival high schools faced off in soccer Friday in a much- awaited battle at Central's Cal Jones Field that lived up to the hype.

Central Union High School (5-3-2 overall) and Southwest High (7-6) both kicked off their Imperial Valley League seasons with Central shutting out Southwest 3-0.

Central started dominating the game early, had several scoring opportunities in the first half and capitalized with two goals.

Central's Raul Cazares helped create the first goal with a shot from outside the box that Eagle goalkeeper Francisco Flores deflected out of bounds, setting up a corner kick. Alberto Martinez headed the ball into the goal off the corner kick with 22 minutes left in the half.

One minute later, Cazares scored his first of two goals when he again shot from outside the box, this time beating Flores.


Central dominated the rest of the half but could not capitalize on any more chances.

In the second half the game turned around. Central came out strong as in the first half but only stayed that way for about 15 minutes. Then Southwest took over.

The Eagles had several chances to score but were cut short by goalkeeper Humberto Cardenas, who had several saves.

The Spartans only late chances were on counter-attacks. Flores also came up big in the second half as he almost held the Spartans scoreless.

Cazares scored on a free kick outside the box with about two minutes left in the game. The shot sailed straight into the left corner of the goal.

Rafael Contreras, Southwest head coach, said, "The first half was all Central and they scored two. The second half was all us but we couldn't score a goal."

Jim Graham, Central head coach, said, "Overall, I was really pleased to open the league with three goals against the Eagles. The other thing that pleased me was shutting them out because they are one of the highest-scoring teams in the Valley."

The Spartans next battle at Brawley High while the Eagles host Palo Verde, both at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 370-8549.

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