Stallions, Apaches play to soccer tie
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Luis Diaz uses his head to control the ball in the midfield during Friday’s match with the Sanger Apaches.
The Madera South Stallions boys soccer team held its ground again to extend its home unbeaten streak to 24 matches after a 1-1 tie to the Sanger Apaches.
The Stallions scored a goal late in the second half of overtime to secure the tie and, not only, remain unbeaten at home since 2018 (20-0-4), but also remained unbeaten through the first four matches of the County/Metro Athletic Conference.
“Today, everything was off for us,” head coach Enrique Garcia said. “It felt like a different type of day. I thought we were ready. Then, we stepped on the field and we showed differently. We didn’t fight for anything in the first half. We didn’t challenge. We weren’t as a team. We were individuals that didn’t want to do enough for everyone else.”
Both teams battled through the first 80 minutes of regulation without a goal before Sanger scored early in the first half of overtime Friday.
“They played a long ball,” Garcia said. “Our defenders were asleep. The guy got the free ball inside and put it away.”
However, Arturo Zavala scored the equalizer late in the second half of overtime.
“We moved the ball well, got a great cross and got a clean-up from Arturo Zavala, who put it away,” Garcia said.
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s David Vasquez works to get in front of a Sanger defender during Friday’s tie with the Apaches.
However, Garcia said his team was fortunate to be in the position to tie late in the match.
“Sanger let us stay in the game,” he said. “They should have got up by three or four goals in the first half. They kept missing opportunities. The last 15 minutes of the half, we started working well by transitioning the ball and giving ourselves looks. That’s what we fed off of at halftime. We were tied to a team that should be up. They were giving us a chance. I told the boys, ‘Let’s take advantage of that and make something work.’”
Sanger had an opportunity to score from the opening kickoff of the match. An Apache beat a Stallion defender to goal. The Apaches got two shots on goal, but goalkeeper Ishmal Ambriz blocked both attempts.
Zavala had Madera South’s first chance on goal in the fourth minute. He had a shot from 25 yards out on the left get caught by the Sanger keeper.
Later, Sanger had a corner kick in the 13th minute. The ball was sent to the front, but a hard shot on goal was blocked out and cleared.
David Vasquez had an opportunity in the 19th minute. His crossing pass to the middle was stopped by the Sanger goalkeeper.
Madera South had an opportunity in the 33rd minute. Vasquez, on the left, beat his defender to the end line. He crossed the ball to Luis Diaz on the back side of the net. Diaz’s shot hit the outside of the net and out of bounds.
Five minutes later, on a corner kick, Javier Buenrostro’s shot on goal was cleared out.
Madera South started to control the ball better in the second half, but still couldn’t find the go-ahead goal.
“We started moving the ball well and transitioning,” Garcia said. “They took our coaching at halftime and used it on the field. We had too many injuries today. We ended with everyone who was able on the field. We didn’t have any subs. We played with whatever 11 could touch the field. We had nobody else to put in.”