Once the ball went into the back of the net, Manny Gonzalez breathed a sigh of relief for two reasons.
The Burroughs High boys’ soccer player matched the record for most career goals and the goal provided the Indians with some insurance while staying in the hunt for the Pacific League championship.
Gonzalez tallied a pair of goals and goalkeeper Hyatt Entz made several big second-half saves to help visiting Burroughs register a 2-0 league win against Glendale on Tuesday at Moyse Field.
Gonzalez’s tied the mark of 55 career goals set by Roberto Perez in 1994, when he beat Glendale goalkeeper Edgar Ovasapyan inside the right post on a direct kick in the 57th minute.
“It’s great to tie a mark like that, but it’s more important to get a big win here,” said Gonzalez, who has scored in six straight contests and helped the Indians win the league crown last season. “The goal took a lot of pressure off of us and Glendale had been trying to tie it up. I couldn’t do any of this without our guys and I’m very grateful.
“We got some big saves from Hyatt. Without those saves, we’d probably tie or maybe lose. So, it’s a big win all around.”
Burroughs improved to 8-6-3, 6-1-2 in league for 20 points. Burroughs jumped ahead of Crescenta Valley (5-0-4 in league for 19 points) and pulled to within two points of first-place Pasadena (7-1-1 for 22 points) with five matches remaining. Pasadena and Crescenta Valley tied, 2-2, on Tuesday at Crescenta Valley.
Glendale dipped to 5-8-3, 4-4-1 for 13 points. Glendale is in fifth place, three points behind Arcadia. The top four teams in league automatically qualify for the CIF playoffs in February.
Gonzalez gave Burroughs, which registered a 3-0 home win versus Glendale on Dec. 10, a 1-0 lead when he headed in a cross from Zac Levy past Ovasapyan in the 13th minute.
The Nitros tested Entz several times in the second half, yet Entz was equal to the task. Entz made four of his seven saves in the second half.
Entz made a leaping save on a shot by Vicente Sanchez in the 55th minute before turning aside a shot by Jose Flores about a minute later.
“It’s a very good win against a team that’s got a lot of talent and this is a hard place to play,.” Burroughs first-year coach Mitchell Kodama said. “Hyatt made some big-time saves in the second half and we’re grateful for that.
“Manny came through again and he’s been so great for us and it’s awesome to see him tie the record. That was a huge goal by him to make it 2-0. We’re still in it for the league title, too.”
Glendale second-year coach Brandon Weisman said the Nitros stayed with the Indians.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to Burroughs because they played real well,” Weisman said. “We’re still trying to break through and their goalie made some excellent saves on tough shots. We gave ourselves a chance.
“We played some pretty decent soccer, but we gave up a couple of goals that we shouldn’t have. We kept the ball more and we had some chances. I’m confident that we’ll get some good results moving ahead.”
Burroughs will meet host Hoover and Glendale will take on visiting Muir at 3:30 p.m. Friday.