By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
EXETER – It was a tale of two halves last Friday night between the Golden West Blazers and the Exeter Monarchs. The second half belonged to the Blazers as they scored two goals over the course of three minutes to win 2-1.
“This was a close, tight game,” Golden West head coach John McCaw said. “The kids came out in the second half and did not panic. I am pretty pleased when we were down at half that we won this game.”
Golden West (5-3-2, 2-0) had their chances in the first half, but failed to capitalize on any of them. When the second half started they trailed Exeter 1-0. That deficit did not last longer than a minute into the half. The Blazers’ Daniel Duran took the ball into the Monarchs (2-5-3) zone up the near side. Instead up attacking the Exeter keeper straight he lobbed the ball over his head. It fell perfectly inside the upper left corner for the tying goal.
Less than three minutes later the Blazers were on the attack again. This time the ball came into the zone on the far side of the field. A centering pass came to Sebastian Caballero in the middle of the penalty box. He settled the ball and read the defense noticing that they were shifted to his left. That was when he kicked it along the ground scoring the game winning goal in the back right corner.
“This was a real tough match,” Caballero said. “Exeter played well, but we came out in the second half with a different mentality.”
That was the Blazers believed they were going to win even though they were behind. Even after the second goal they still played like they were behind. Golden West had three more good chances to score again. The best was off the foot of Caballero. With 14 minutes left Caballero went charging into the Exeter zone, and kicked the ball past a sliding Exeter keeper. The ball bounced off the left post, then the right, and away.
Exeter did not have a scoring chance until inside the last two minutes of the game. In an act of desperation Exeter coach Pete Renteria sent everyone forward, and brought his keeper up for two free kicks. Both of which failed.
“We let down for three minutes, and that cost us a big win to start 2018 with,” Renteria said.
The Monarchs scored the opening goal three minutes into the game. Ricky Quintero attacked up the far side, and hit the ball into the upper right corner from 20 yards away. After the score they were able to keep up with Golden West as both teams battled for possession.
However, in the second half when Golden West got the two goal lead and the momentum Exeter began to get frustrated. Often giving an extra shove, or committing an errant pass. According to Renteria it was due to the referees in ability to control the game.
Golden West returned to West Yosemite League competition last night against inner city rival the Redwood Rangers. Final happened after press time.
The Monarchs began Central Sequoia League play last night against the Dinuba Emperors. The final score of that match was reached after press time.