LUTHER BURBANK MIDDLE SCHOOL — It was physical and intense.
It was hard-fought.
Emotions and effort ran high with both teams. Simply enough, it was a bitter rivalry game.
The Burroughs High boys’ soccer team clashed against Burbank Tuesday, in the latest meeting of the cross-town foes. Burroughs won this battle, 4-2.
“It’s always going to be a chippy game,” Burroughs Coach Allen Machuca said. “These kids know each other. They see each other. It’s always going to be a rivalry.”
“This is not soccer,” Burbank Coach Frank Chavez said. “It’s more like American football. I can say that if Burroughs came and played soccer, I don’t think they’d beat us.”
Burbank (2-4-1 in league) struck first with a goal by junior midfielder Jonathan Trujillo in the 29th minute. He sent the ball into the right corner of the net, just over the outstretched hands of Burroughs’ goalkeeper John Castro.
The tide turned from there.
Burroughs (3-1-2) netted three unanswered goals, taking firm command of the contest.
In the 32nd minute, Steven Munoz found the left corner of the net for the Indians, tying the game at 1.
In the final minute of the first half, Joan Alvarez scored his first goal for Burroughs when he lowered the ball with his chest and footed it over Burbank goalkeeper Ryan James. The ball sailed down the middle of the net, as Burroughs took their first lead of the game, 2-1.
“The first one is amazing,” Alvarez said. “I saw the ball in the air. It seemed like it took forever to go down.”
The Indians had 10 first-half shots, while the Bulldogs managed only three.
In the 43rd minute, Alvarez scored again, this time into the right corner of the net, putting Burroughs up, 3-1.
“It’s just amazing,” Alvarez said. “It’s beautiful. I’m a senior. It’s my last game at home. It’s just emotional. I can’t describe it.”
“I just told my kids, ‘We have enough skill that the goals will go come,’” Machuca said. “It’s just about staying to what we do and executing and finishing opportunities. It’s been the story of our year.”
Midway through the second half, the two teams got into a bench-clearing scuffle that resulted in red cards for Burroughs’ Julio Guillermo and Burbanks’ Zeinali Varaga.
“My main guy is the one who got the red card,” Chavez said. “That hurts me because he’s the one who does almost everything.”
In the 77th minute, the Indians’ Kevin Mundo scored, giving Burroughs a comfortable 4-1 advantage.
“I think we finished the opportunities that we had,” Machuca said. “I think we had a great showing from our middle of the field, especially Joan’s two goals.”
Trujillo added his second goal of the game, in the final minute, when he headed in an attempt.
“One guy cannot do everything,” Chavez said.
Burbank had only three second half shots, while Burroughs had eight shots.