Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Angel Avila, left, celebrates with Jesse Flores after Flores scored a goal during a 3-1 victory Friday over Madera.
The Madera South Stallions capitalized on a second half wave of momentum to defeat next door rivals Madera Coyotes in a 3-1 boys soccer win in Memorial Stadium.
“Communication, movement and along with just going back to our game plan changed things for us,” Madera South head coach Enrique Garcia said. “In the first half, we had issues with just the pressure of facing a hometown team. In the second half, we calmed down and started to move the ball well and that’s when we got our goals moving forward.”
Jesse Flores, Abraham Vasquez and Jose Chavez each contributed with a goal as the Stallions took another step towards the County/Metro Athletic Conference summit. Christian Meza and Julian Ayala had three combined assists Friday.
The two teams faced each other earlier in the season when the Coyotes came away with a 1-0 victory, but when asked if the last match was in their minds going in, Garcia noted they had confidence going into the match.
“It was just an ugly game, but they got the win,” Garcia said. “We knew that if we played our style today, on a wide field with our touch and the way that we play, we were going to get this win.”
Madera got on the scoresheet late in the match after a Jonah Hill penalty kick, but Madera had a chance early in the game that could’ve changed the match going into the second half.
“I believe the moment that changed the match was when the referee awarded us a penalty, but took it away,” Madera head coach Nic Landeros said. “He awarded us a penalty for a foul he saw, but then came and talked to his assistant and they overturned it. If he keeps his original call and we keep the penalty, we can go up 1-0 and I think that changes the complexity of the game. We were a little bit hit hard by some of the calls and the frustration built up and kind of got us out of our game.”
In the first half, the Coyotes had opportunities to punish the Stallions for their fouls inside their own final third.
Ryan Da Rocha took a free kick from 30 yards out after a Madera South foul. Da Rocha launched the ball into the heart of the penalty area looking for a free Coyote, but the ball was cleared away from the Stallions goal.
Madera South answered with a quick counter down the pitch.
Defensively, Madera South continued to make mistakes in the first half after another foul deep in their own end.
Saul Guerrero stepped up for the free kick but shot the ball into the Madera South wall. The ball launched into the air before being cleared away by the Stallions.
The game went into halftime scoreless, but things began to heat up in the second half.
Christian Garcia picked out Angel Avila early in the half with a perfect pass. Avila found space for a shot but was denied by Madera goalkeeper Francisco Segovia.
Segovia’s efforts in goal continued after Avila fed Garcia moments later for a close-range shot that was saved.
Meza opened the flood gates after he whipped a cross into the box from the left wing. His cross was met by Vasquez who stuck his head into the fray, coming away with a goal.
The Stallions had the momentum and capitalized. Madera South worked its way down the pitch before Flores received the ball on the right wing. The ball had more pace than expected, leading Flores into the Coyotes’ penalty area.
Segovia charged the ball, but Flores had other ideas as he chipped the ball over the keeper. Segovia misplayed the ball and ran into Flores, but the ball was bouncing towards goal as Garcia ran into the penalty area to make sure the ball nestled home for the 2-0 score.
Madera South’s second-half effort was completed after Chavez scored the third goal of the night in the 58th minute. Chavez worked the ball down the left wing before he entered the penalty area where he went head-to-head with Segovia. Chavez’s right-footed shot was just enough as the shot flew past Segovia.
The Coyotes found a goal in the final moments of the half after Hill rewarded the Coyote faithful with a penalty shot after a Stallion foul in the box.