NORTHWEST GLENDALE — In a Pacific League boys' soccer contest featuring Hoover High and Burbank squads that entered Wednesday with a win apiece in league play, the outcome was likely as pivotal as the run of the game proved to be all-around ugly.
In a match that featured a combined 10 yellow cards, both sidelines verbally displeased with the officials and both the Bulldogs and Tornadoes bickering amongst teammates, it was Burbank that emerged from it all with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory at Hoover High.
"It was a tough game," said Hoover Coach Kevin Cadenas, whose team dropped to 3-6 overall and 1-4 in league despite owning 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the match. "I guess [it was a] lack of focus. We were up, 2-1, and Burbank was fighting, they kept coming back."
Hoover took a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute when Artin Almary scored off a Carlos Rodriguez assist. Just a minute later, though, Burbank (3-5-2, 2-2-1) rebounded to tie the match with a goal from Jonathan Trujillo.
The Tornadoes then took a 2-1 advantage in the 33rd minute when Jesse Roman pushed the ball up the heart of the field. Looking right, Roman passed to the left wing, where a streaking Rafael Manzo blasted home a goal.
Burbank quickly took control of the match, thereafter, decidedly winning the possession battle for the remainder of the half and carrying the momentum, despite trailing, into the second half.
The Tornadoes — who were already bleeding the clock with throw-ins, goal kicks, etc. — were on their heels until an inability to clear the ball cost them.
Maxwell Trautmann found a golden opportunity that he booted home roughly 10 feet from the goal when Hoover couldn't clear possession in the 67th minute.
While the tying tally put Hoover on the offensive, it was to no avail, as the Tornadoes fell behind for good on another ball they were unable to clear that was put home by Trujillo in the 73rd minute.
"It seemed like miscommunication in the back," Cadenas said. "We had mistakes in the back and it cost us."
Overall, the match featured what seemed like a foul every minute and was rife with physical play, as was evidenced by the yellow cards, of which Burbank had six to Hoover's four. It almost escalated in one sequence when Hoover's Erick Deravanesian shoved a Burbank player and the two went nose-to-nose jawing. They were separated and no foul was called.
"I hate to blame the refs, but the refs were terrible," Burbank Coach Frank Chavez said. "Yeah [the two teams don't like each other], but it's the refs' job to control them."
Still, the Bulldogs are now on a two-match winning streak after winning on Friday against the same Arcadia squad that Hoover earned its lone league win against.
"I think Hoover did their part, we did our part, overall it was a good game," Chavez said. "The good thing is we got the win."
Hoover, however, lost its third straight match since defeating Arcadia. Nonetheless, Cadenas was also pleased, as he chose to sit five starters for disciplinary reason and saw players off the bench, such as Almary and Manzo, step up to the occasion.
"It wasn't the best soccer-wise," Cadenas said, "but it was mostly our bench and they stepped up. Overall, I'm happy.
"We just gotta keep working."