Madera recovers from deficit for tie
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Jonah Hill controls the ball in front of the Bullard goal during Friday’s tie. He scored a pair of penalty kick goals to preserve the tie to the Knights.
For 68 minutes, nothing went right for the Madera Coyotes boys soccer team.
The team failed to convert multiple opportunities throughout the game and found itself down 2-0 against Bullard-Fresno.
In the final 12 minutes, however, the Coyotes converted two penalty kicks and forced overtime. Both teams then failed to score a game-winner in the extra period and settled for a 2-2 tie in Memorial Stadium on Friday.
“I told my team ‘we’re still in this, we’re a good team, we just need to stay focused,’” Madera junior Jonah Hill said. “Even though we didn’t start very well, we found a way to pick ourselves up and continue.”
The Coyotes had their first opportunity in the 10th minute when Nick Gonzalez failed to beat the goalkeeper on a long distance shot. Ryan Da Rocha missed the put-back attempt. In the 13th minute, the Coyotes missed another chance when Hill’s shot went wide.
Bullard opened the scoring in the 30th minute when Isayah Martinez out-hustled a couple of defenders and scored with a header to make it 1-0.
The Knights had multiple chances to add to their lead before halftime, but they failed to take advantage and settled for a 1-0 lead at the break.
The Coyotes remained shut out after Hill and Miguel Gutierrez missed header opportunities in the 49th and 50th minutes. More chances went to waste for the Coyotes when Nick Gonzalez kicked the ball over the bar in the 53rd minute and Hill hit the side of the net in the 61st minute.
In the 66th minute, Bullard’s Alexander Lopez gathered the ball after a deflected shot in the box and fired into the target to give the Knights a 2-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Hill’s penalty kick slipped through the hands of the goalkeeper and gave the Coyotes their first goal.
“After the first goal we made, we found ourselves and decided to bring it up,” Hill said. “Whenever we do that, we bring our energy back and make something happen.”
After a hand ball in the 74th minute, Hill converted another penalty to tie the game.
The Coyotes earned a free kick in the 80th minute, but they failed to put the shot on target and the game went to overtime.
With the game still tied after the first overtime, the teams desperately searched for a winner in the second overtime. The Knights pleaded for a penalty call in the fourth minute of the second overtime, but they had to settle for a free kick after the referee called a hand ball just outside of the box. The Coyotes’ defense blocked the free kick before it could go anywhere.
Gutierrez had another chance for the Coyotes in the final moments, but he was unable to fire a shot before the goalkeeper came out of his box to clear the danger. The Coyotes also came up empty on one last free kick and settled for the tie.
“Our coach just told us some things we could fix at halftime and we fixed them,” Hill said.