The Madera South Stallions boys’ soccer team outlasted a physical Bullard-Fresno Knights team 2-0 in a County/Metro Athletic Conference match at Lee DaSilva Field in Memorial Stadium.
“The boys stepped up today, played physical and won a lot of tackles,” Madera Stallions head coach Enrique Garcia said. “Every team that we’ve talked to that has played Bullard has always said they are going to be a physical team and that’s one thing we preached to the boys this week is we have to go win every single ball. No matter how it happens, everything clean, but physical.”
Kevin Osuna shined once again Thursday night with a brilliant two-goal performance. Along with Christian Garcia and Oscar Galindo, Madera South was in capable hands throughout.
Madera South opened the match with intent, which led to the first threatening chance of the game.
In the 14th minute, Christin Garcia galloped down the heart of the Knights final third. Garcia felt Osuna’s run on his left shoulder as the Bullard defense closed in for the tackle. Garcia softly threaded the ball forward to Osuna who collected the ball and accurately slotted the ball home to the keepers left.
Once again, the Garcia-Osuna connection struck for the Stallions. Within the first 15 minutes, Madera South had the Knights playing from behind.
The Knights almost scored in the 20th minute after a Bullard forward was brought down in the box. Stallions keeper Jose Carranza stepped up and blocked the penalty kick. He faked left then came back right for the save.
Carranza’s work wasn’t over, though. The ball fell kindly to the Bullard penalty taker, yet he sliced at the ball and sent it over the crossbar.
Although his blocked penalty took the plaudits, his solid form all night contributed to the clean sheet.
After a combination play that saw Garcia, Osuna and Galindo maneuver down the field, Osuna latched onto a well-timed ball by Galindo in the box and fired away to give Madera South a two-goal lead.
With two goals in the first half, Madera South put their foot down and contained the Bullard Knights.
With a physical game facing them this night, Madera South not only stepped up to the challenge, they thoroughly handled their business.
“If the boys can continue to play this way; strong and physical with this much heart, we compete with any team in league,” Garcia said.