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Dynamo U-13 can't match Arsenal's guns

June 25, 2002|By TOM RONCO, Special to this newspaper

TEMECULA — Despite being held scoreless for the first 25 minutes of their divisional championship match, the Arsenal Gunners of Alta Loma bested the Dynamo of El Centro U-13 select soccer team 6-0 during the second annual SouthWest Soccer Classic at the Corona Ranch Sod Farm here Monday.

Dynamo, which had surrendered just one goal in three pool play matches and had shut out the Leucatia Lightening 2-0 in the semifinals Sunday, kept the Gunners muzzled before failing to mark an Arsenal player at the edge of the penalty box who scored to make it 1-0.

"We had them at their frustration point because they had not gone that long in any of their previous tournament matches without scoring," said Dynamo coach Jim Graham.

"However, just when we were thinking about what we would do in the second half, we give up a goal."

Arsenal, which averaged 8.5 goals per victory in its four previous tournament matches, extended its lead to 2-0 at the half when the team scored in the 32nd minute.

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Dynamo trailed 3-0 early in the second half when they were awarded a penalty kick. The attempt sailed wide and Dynamo never threatened again.

Arsenal basically controlled Dynamo with exactly the same ball control, switching and patience offense Dynamo employed to get to the championship.

"They had possession for 70 percent to 80 percent of the match so we died by our own medicine," said Graham. "Hopefully our players learned that moving into open space is the key to competing at this level."

Arsenal scored its fifth and sixth goal in the last 10 minutes of the game.

The match marked the seventh time in as many tournaments that Dynamo has reached the finals.

"This was a fantastic weekend; another step forward against outstanding competition," said Graham. "It amazes me that this group, or any team, could keep getting into the finals."

Dynamo will continue on the tournament circuit when it competes in the Crusaders Cup in San Diego in mid-July, a tournament that will mark the end of the U-13 division as the squad will begin competing as a U-14 team starting Aug. 1.

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