GAA misses final touch

NORTHEAST GLENDALE β€” Plenty of scoring chances came the way of the Glendale Adventist Academy boys' soccer team in a Liberty League game against Yeshiva Wednesday.

The problem was those chances didn't translate to goals for the Cougars. Yeshiva, on the other hand, was able to turn a number of set pieces into goals and walk out of the Glendale Sports Complex with a 4-1 win.

"We had full control of it, but we lost in the end," Glendale Adventist Coach Joe Sanchez said. "I think that we can improve. This is a big lesson and I hope our team comes back stronger next game."

Glendale Adventist (0-1-1) dominated the first half by generating nine shots primarily off of five deep throws and four corner kicks.

The game was still scoreless heading into halftime, as three of Glendale's first-half shots were off target, four were blocked in the field and the other two were saved by Yeshiva goalie Jake Litwin.

"I think [Glendale Adventist] definitely won the first half," Yeshiva Coach Rafael Meghnaji said. "We hung in there and were lucky they didn't score."

The contest swung in Yeshiva's favor early in the second half when Yoni Elkaim scored on a free kick from 30 yards out. Glendale Adventist goalie Tanner Warrick had no hope of saving the shot as Elkaim placed it perfectly in the top right corner to give Yeshiva (6-0-1, 3-0-1) a 1-0 lead 48 minutes into the game.

"Yoni is really good at those free kicks," Meghnaji said. "He always puts it on target. It's tough to save those when they're so high in the corner."

The Cougars nearly had an answer a minute later when Edward Figueroa crossed a ball into the middle of the box to teammate Jonathan Siguenza who made a diving header that was on target, but saved by Litwin.

It was deja vu a minute later when Elkaim struck again on a 35-yard free kick that crept into the top left corner for a 2-0 Yeshiva lead.

Glendale Adventist got on the board in the 55th minute, when Figueroa scored on a penalty kick to cut the lead to 2-1 and keep hope of a comeback alive.

All hope was lost nine minutes later when Yeshiva scored again off a corner kick. Elkaim sent the corner into the box and Warrick punched it out, but to right to Yeshiva's Matan Talasazan, who scored on an open net to restore Yeshiva's two-goal lead, 3-1.

The Cougars came close to tying the game with two solid chances off free kicks at top of the box. The first shot came from Eric Marcondes and was saved by Litwin with 12 minutes to go in the game. Siguenza sent another promising free kick just over the crossbar with two minutes left.

Yeshiva padded its lead with a goal in the final minute of the game when Jon Fhima scored a breakaway goal to finish the scoring at 4-1.

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