Erubey Ramirez lifts Los Amigos past Santiago with goal in double overtime
The Los Amigos boys’ soccer team had not had one of its more connected performances, but so long as the Lobos did not concede, they remained in the fight against their archrival.
When the opportunity came, the Lobos did not miss.
Erubey Ramirez scored with two minutes left in double overtime, as Los Amigos earned a critical result with a 1-0 win at Santiago to move into first place alone in the Garden Grove League on Friday afternoon.
Los Amigos (8-2-1, 3-0 in the Garden Grove League) was pressed by Santiago (11-5-3), which had the better of the chances throughout the contest. The Cavaliers continued to hold a territorial advantage in extra time, but the Lobos struck after defending a corner kick.
An outnumbered attack saw Ramirez, trailing the play, end up with the ball with time and space to shoot. His right-footed shot beat a diving Eduardo Estrada.
“We were all sitting there like we were good with a tie, but then we wanted more, so we just came in with everything we had in overtime,” Ramirez said. “Our defense held it up, which was good for us.”
Los Amigos coach Jesus Razo said he felt “relief” when the ball went in. The Lobos took a big step down a path they hope will lead to repeating as league champions.
“The history is here with Santiago, and it’s always every year between us and them in the league championship,” Razo said. “We’re always competing head-to-head, and also in past playoffs. We always cross paths.”
Junior midfielders Jair Vargas and Bryant Pineda put together some good combinations, helping the Cavaliers penetrate deep into the attacking third. It led to several chances for Armando Galvan to shoot from dangerous positions.
In the 24th minute, Vargas broke down the defense from the left wing and dribbled into the box. He passed across the goal mouth for Galvan, who shot the ball as it arrived. Lobos goalkeeper Jorge Sanchez made the close-range stop, and Christian Franco cleared the rebound.
Galvan again was in tight during stoppage time at the end of regulation, but his shot sailed wide of the right post.
“It was one good counter from them,” Santiago coach Carlos Benitez Cruz said. “We did control the whole game. We got clear shots. They had one or two towards the end. You got to stay focused the whole game. At the end, maybe us pushing forward on the corner kick wasn’t smart. We did want to win, so that’s why we kept sending people in.”
Los Amigos did not register its first shot on target until Oracio Teriquez bounced a bid into the arms of Estrada in the 75th minute.
Withstanding the offensive dry spell was Sanchez, who made five saves with Adrian Ramirez, Christopher Santos, Levy Garcia and Franco defending in front of him.
“They were definitely making us work that first half,” Sanchez said. “They kept coming and pressuring us — so many close opportunities for them to score. The second half is when we really turned that around. We started communicating more, we started passing, playing faster. We started playing overall better.”
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