Spartans battle Vikings to 4-4 tie

January 31, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

HOLTVILLE — On a cold Tuesday night, the Holtville High School and Central Union High School varsity soccer squads engaged in a heated match that saw eight goals and ultimately a 4-4 tie.

Both teams suffered losses Friday but were looking to keep in the running for the Imperial Valley League tittle.

The game started late as the teams waited for one of the referees. The game eventually started with only one referee, Jesus Sanchez. The other referee, Ulises Rosas, arrived 15 minutes late to the game.

Central passed the ball well early and controlled the game for about the first 20 minutes. The Spartans created some scoring opportunities and in the 25th minute capitalized on one.

Francisco Espinoza, a Central forward, scored on a center-kick after the Viking goalkeeper misread the path of the ball and underran it. Espinoza beat the goalkeeper to the ball and headed it in to the wide-open goal.


The Vikings then started creating their own scoring opportunities with heavy pressure on the Central defense and several shots on goal that were blocked by Spartan goalkeeper Humberto Cardenas.

Holtville, however, persisted and in the last minute of the first half, tied the game when Adan Mejia centered a ball that teammate Eric Sanchez headed into the goal.

In the second half both teams started playing aggressive, offensive soccer and had several scoring opportunities. Central played more of a controlled passing game while Holtville played a counter-attacking game.

Both teams also had mistakes in the defense that cost them goals.

In the ninth minute, Central capitalized when Espinoza centered the ball and the Viking defense did not clear it properly. Central's Jesse Peña punished Holtville by simply pushing the ball into the net.

In the 34th minute, Central again took advantage of a mistake when a Viking defender pulled down a Spartan inside the penalty box.

The referees awarded Central a penalty kick, which David Lopez made to give the Spartan a two-goal lead.

Mistakes also plagued the Spartans.

Holtville started answering with shots and several scoring opportunities that Cardenas thwarted.

But in the 37th minute Holtville capitalized on one of Spartans' defensive mistakes when Sanchez, on a free-kick about 10 yards outside the box, centered the ball and Carlos Padilla, with no one marking him, scored for the Vikings.

Three minutes later, in the last minute of the game, the Vikings tied the score when Luis Quiroga picked up a loose ball inside the Central goalkeeper box and shot it into the goal.

The game went into overtime, in which teams play two 10-minute halves.

Holtville kept up its pressure, which paid off when Eric Felix, off a corner kick, headed the ball into the goal.

Central then took control of the game as it attacked from all angles.

The Vikings' only defense was to punt the ball as far from their goal as possible.

Central started the second half of overtime with the same pressure. In the fourth minute the Alberto Martinez shot the ball past Viking goalkeeper Armando Gonzalez.

Central kept up the high-pressure offense but could not get another goal.

With four minutes left in the overtime period the entire Holtville crowd was ejected by referee Sanchez for arguing calls.

The game was suspended for about five minutes while the crowd was leaving the field. Crowd members continued to cheer on the team from behind the school fence as the game ended in a tie.

"We played very different," said Juan Arroyo, Holtville head coach.

"We played well and with a lot of effort. It was an excellent game that everybody enjoyed."

Central head coach Jim Graham said, "It was a game that had everything that a fan wants to see. Holtville played a great game, which goes to show their soccer program is headed in the right direction."

Both teams will play at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Holtville, with an overall record of 4-4-1, 1-3-1 in the league, will visit Palo Verde while Central, with an overall record of 6-5-4, 2-2-1 in the league, will visit Southwest High in El Centro.

Southwest 3, Brawley 2

The Southwest High boys soccer team downed Brawley 3-2 in Imperial Valley League action in El Centro on Tuesday.

Scoring for the Eagles were Juan Garcia, Jose Ochoa and Luis Montes.

Heading the offense for the Wildcats were Noe Lopez and Hector Martinez, who both had goals.

Brawley (6-6-4 overall, 2-1-1 IVL) travels to play Calexico at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Calexico 4, Palo Verde 1

BLYTHE — Behind a two-goal effort from Antonio Cruz the Calexico High boys soccer team defeated Palo Verde 4-1 in Imperial Valley League action here Tuesday.

Also scoring for the Bulldogs were Fernando Mora and Enrique Tirado.

Imperial 4, Mountain Empire 1

IMPERIAL — The Imperial High boys soccer team had little trouble getting past Mountain Empire defeating it 4-1 here Tuesday.

Scoring for the Tigers were Marco Rodriguez, David Adams, Frankie Partida and Anthony Guardado.

Imperial (7-3 overall, 4-0 Desert League) plays at 3:15 p.m. Thursday at Borrego Springs.

Girls action

Central 2, Holtville 0

Jackie Morton's shutout streak reached six games as the Central Union high girls soccer team got by Holtville 2-0 in El Centro on Tuesday.

Scoring for the Spartans were Ana Nava and Stormy Morton.

Central returns to the field at 3:15 today as it travels to battle Mountain Empire.

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

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