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Los Amigos boys’ soccer defends home turf versus Loara

Los Amigos' Christopher Santos goes up for a header against Loara's Jose Delgado in a Garden Grove League match on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Some say that playoff series do not start until the road team wins.

While there are no playoff series in the CIF Southern Section boys’ soccer playoffs, there are home-and-home sets in Garden Grove League play, and the Los Amigos High School boys’ soccer team held serve on Friday afternoon against Loara.

Omar Arciga had a goal and two assists to lead the host Lobos to a 4-0 win over the Saxons, which gave host Los Amigos a split of the season series against its league rival.

Los Amigos' Anthony Gutierrez, left, congratulates Omar Arciga after he scores a goal against Loara.
Los Amigos’ Anthony Gutierrez, left, congratulates Omar Arciga after he scores a goal against Loara in a Garden Grove League match on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The win keeps Los Amigos (8-3, 4-1) alive and well in the Garden Grove League race, which will see its next chapter written on Monday when the Lobos take on first-place Santiago (8-3-5, 4-0-1) at home at 3 p.m.

“We’re looking for that league title,” Arciga said. “We’ve got to finish the season with no more losses, all wins, and that’s what we’re looking to do.”

After a scoreless first half, Los Amigos erupted for four goals in the first 17 minutes coming out of the break. The Lobos were playing balls forward through the midfield tandem of Derek Garcia and Anthony Gutierrez. In the 42nd minute, Gutierrez got himself forward and drew a foul in the box.

Los Amigos' Humberto Rincon battles for a ball against Loara's Esvin Ochoa in a Garden Grove League match on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Arciga stepped up to the spot and buried the penalty kick in the back of the net, lifting Los Amigos into the lead.

Three minutes later, Arciga was sprinting in on goal again. He fired a shot that handcuffed Loara goalkeeper Christopher Ruben Ramirez (six saves), and Humberto Rincon crashed the net to score on the rebound.

Just a few minutes after, Arciga again led the breakout and took a shot, one that the Saxons goalkeeper stopped. It came back to Arciga, and he dropped a short pass back to Gutierrez, who took advantage of a better shooting angle to extend the Lobos’ lead to 3-0.

Los Amigos' Anthony Gutierrez, left, and Omar Arciga, behind, congratulate Humberto Rincon after he scores a goal.
Los Amigos’ Anthony Gutierrez, left, and Omar Arciga, behind, congratulate Humberto Rincon after he scores a goal against Loara in a Garden Grove League match on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“The first half, we missed clear opportunities, so I told the boys that we needed to step it up and put the chances away,” Los Amigos coach Jesus Razo said. “Obviously, we were the better team the first half, and it wasn’t going away. The second half was ‘just keep doing what we’re doing but put the ball in the back of the net.’”

The final Los Amigos goal was a thing of beauty. Allan Marquina began a run from the back post to the near post, getting on the receiving end of a corner-kick service from Rincon to convert on a header.

“This was an important win for us because Loara was in second place,” Marquina said. “They beat us, and we had to get our revenge.”

Los Amigos’ Daniel Terrones was in goal for the shutout, though he was not tested in the second half. Loara (5-10-1, 4-2) attempted just one shot after halftime, that coming on a free kick by Jose Delgado after Edgar Becerra drew a foul near the top of the box.

Los Amigos' Omar Arciga beats Loara's Jeremy Lucero on a breakaway during a Garden Grove League match on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

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