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Early goal helps lift Stallions to win

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera South’s Luis Diaz (RIGHT) and Madera’s Diego Da Rocha (17) try to head their team in the right direction. Diaz scored both goals to lead the Stallions to a 2-1 victory Thursday night.


The Madera Coyotes boys soccer team faced an uphill battle almost from the start of its match against the Madera South Stallions, but came up with the tying goal. However, Madera South scored 10 minutes later to pick up the season sweep by an identical 2-1 score.

The Stallions defeated Madera, 2-1, on April 13 and got a go-ahead goal in the 64th minute to record another 2-1 victory Thursday at Madera South.

The intense rivalry match-up was almost decided in the fifth minute when Madera was called for a hand ball in the box. Luis Diaz knocked in the penalty kick for an early 1-0 lead.

“We always know against Madera, it’s a rivalry,” Madera South head coach Enrique Garcia said. “We know how these kids want to win more than the match. It’s pride. We’ve all been there. Getting that early goal helped a lot. It sucks getting a hand ball in the box, but the referee had to call it. Luckily, we scored off that one. It calmed us down.”

“It’s always tough to get a handball early,” Madera head coach Nic Landeros said. “It kind of dictated the game and we almost started the game with a deficit. We came back and stuck to the gameplan. We were able to get a goal back and be in the game.”

Isaac Pinedo tied the score in the second half for the Coyotes, but Diaz struck 10 minutes later for the deciding goal.

In the fifth minute, a hand ball resulted in a penalty kick. Diaz hit a shot to the lower right corner of the goal for an early 1-0 lead.

Madera’s Diego Da Rocha gathered a loose ball in the 12th minute and his shot was caught. Elias Zuniga got the ball on the right, but shot wide left for Madera.

Madera got a free kick at about 22 yards out on the left. The ball went to the middle, but Pinedo’s bicycle kick went off the crossbar.

Madera had another chance in the 28th minute with a free kick on the left side. Imanol Coria sent the ball on goal, but it went outside the near post.

Madera South had two chances at goal near the end of the first half, but its free kick shots went over the goal.

In the 10th minute of the second half, Madera got a free kick from 17 yards out on the left. Madera South goalkeeper Ishmael Ambriz batted the ball out of bounds.

Four minutes later, Pinedo got the ball in the middle and stepped up with a 25-yard shot that went over Ambriz’s arm and right under the crossbar for the tying goal.

“That was a nice goal,” Garcia said. “It was a breakdown play to tie the match. They got some momentum off of it. We started making some subs and talked to the players before putting them back in. We calmed down the game and were able to put another goal away.”

In the 22nd minute, Madera had a open shot on goal. Dylan Castro got the ball on the left and shot on goal. Ambriz got hand up and knocked it out of bounds.

“We tried to go forward and get another goal,” Landeros said. “Their goalkeeper made a big save. The shot Dylan hit was going to top corner. Credit to Ambriz. He reacted well and got a strong hand on it.”

Two minutes later, the Stallions countered. The Stallions got the ball in the middle and sent it to Diaz on the right. Diaz stepped to the ball before Madera goalkeeper Chris Arias could come out. Diaz rolled the ball into the open net for a 2-1 lead.

“They started pressing us,” Garcia said. “It was nice to get that goal.”

Ambriz recorded another diving save in the 39th minute off of Julian Ramirez’s shot.

With a minute left, Madera South got a ball off the cross bar and shot on goal, but Arias blocked the ball away to clear.

Madera South closed the match with a 2-1 victory but Madera head coach Landeros is happy with what he has seen from his young team.

“We have games left,” he said. “We’re a young team. The way we were playing with this young team, we’re looking to keep the strong foundation and idea going forward to be ready for next season. I believe next season, we start dominating, getting over the hump and winning a lot more games.”



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