Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Ruben Nick Gonzalez (9) jumps for a header in front of teammate Ricardo Lopez (12) during Tuesday’s overtime loss.
The Edison-Fresno Tigers capitalized on an apparent missed offside call early in overtime to defeat the Madera Coyotes 3-2 in a County/Metro Athletic Conference match at Lee DaSilva Field in Memorial Stadium.
With the score even at two goals and the first overtime period almost expired, the Tigers of Edison launched a quick counterattack that caught the Coyotes by surprise.
Unfortunately, Edison’s Joaquin Ayon appeared to be more than a yard ahead of the ball to constitute an offsides call. However due to the official’s position on the pitch, he was unable to grant the offside flag, allowing the Tigers a free shot on Coyote keeper Francisco Segovia.
Although Segovia did his best to disrupt the shot, Ayon chipped the ball over his head and into the back of the net for the eventual game-winning goal.
“Soccer is unlucky and sometimes it’s unfair,” Madera head coach Nic Landeros said. “The only two things we can control was our attitude and our effort. The officials and playing conditions are out of our hands. In order to beat Edison, you have to put the ball in the back of the net and not concede goals, so we’ll go back and watch the film and we’ll adjust our mistakes. To determine a game on a call like that, it’s a tough one to swallow.”
After a slow first half-hour, the Coyotes came to life after an Edison miscue. A Tigers midfielder committed a clumsy challenge on Emmanuel Cabello, leading to a Coyote free kick.
Ruben Nick Gonzalez took the duty and surveyed the pitch from 25 yards out. He struck the ball clean and into the goal for the Coyotes first score of the game.
“We’ve been working on set pieces and Nicky is really talented and young,” Landeros said. “He has a good strike on the set pieces, so we’ve been practicing, and it was good to see it come to life in the game.”
The Tigers responded to Madera’s late score with one of their own.
In the 37th minute, Edison capitalized on a crowded penalty area. The Coyotes defense failed to clear the ball out of the box, allowing an Edison forward to capitalize and score. His right-footed shot tied the game at one.
Madera opened the second half with a threatening free kick after Cabello was fouled just outside the Tiger penalty area. Gonzalez stepped up and took the shot, however the ball sputtered on the ground and rolled wide left of the goal.
The Coyotes had their opportunities to go ahead, however it was Edison that took advantage of their chances.
Jesus Sandoval won the ball off Madera and turned up field. His pace and vision were too much for the Coyotes after he took the ball into the box before sending a low cross across the face of goal to the back post where his teammate was waiting for the easy tap in.
His second assist of the game gave Edison a 2-1 advantage midway through the second half.
The score didn’t stay the same for long. The Coyotes pressured the Tigers’ goal and after Edison failed to clear the ball, Seth Valencia made the most of his chance and fired away past the Tiger keeper to tie the game.
With the score tied at two goals apiece, the game began to turn chippy. Two red cards were handed out in a span of 10 minutes. Edison was penalized on a rough tackle, while Cabello was sent off for retaliating on a poor tackle he received prior to his expulsion.
Both teams, down to 10 men, limped into overtime still looking for that decisive goal.
Although the Coyotes had an 20 extra minutes to find a winner, they were unable to muster enough
to win the game.
Edison, on the other hand, benefitted from an apparent call that directly led to the Tiger’s third goal of the game.