Posted On April 6, 2015 by PUSC
After an epic battle and win in game three that resulted in one broken leg and numerous amounts of cuts and bruises, the 97 Boys Gold team lined up against a CZ Elite U19 team from Southern California in the quarterfinal of the 2015 Dallas Cup.
By kick off time, the local news channels were forecasting winds of up to 30 mph and for once it looked like the weather men got it right. With the teams now lined up for the walk on, the wind really started to increase and there was no doubt it would impact the game.
The whistle blew, the game started, and straight away Placer attacking midfielder Danny Caravez was flattened by a heavy tackle. Five minutes later Danny was flattened again. It now pretty obvious the CZ team were here to compete and it was plain to see why they hadn’t conceded a single goal in their opening games of tournament.
On minute 20 the first real opportunity of the game fell to CZ’s number 9 and Placer United’s goalkeeper Robert Quintero produced an outstanding save to deny them an opening goal. With Placer’s midfield now working really hard to win more tackles in the center of the park, the yellow sub started to gain control of the game and created a few chances. Striker Kristian Heptner had two long range efforts pushed wide by the CZ goalkeeper who was becoming more involved in the game.
Minute 30 produced the first controversial moment of the game. Midfielder and Captain KikI Guzman launched a trademark throw into the CZ box. Striker Heptner lost his marker in the box and ran and jumped to attack the ball only to be rugby tackled to the ground, no call.
Minute 35 produced another controversial moment. Again Captain Kiki launched a throw in. The CZ goalkeeper leapt to catch the ball but somehow misjudged it in the wind and the ball seemed to strike him go into the open net. As the submariners peeled away in celebration, the referee ran towards the lineman on the opposite side who said the goalkeeper didn’t touch the ball so the goal was disallowed.
At half time, the game was 0-0 and center back Isaul Bautista was taken to the medical tent with a suspected concussion from a late and heavy hit after clearing a ball just before the whistle sounded.
Ten minutes into the second half, midfielder Danny Caravez had to leave the game as a result of another heavy challenge. With the boys now defending against the wind, the pressure was mounting and the intensity was growing. It was time to stand up and be counted.
On minute 75, the moment we all feared happened. CZ crossed a ball into the box which changed direction in the wind and crashed against the back post. As the Placer backs twisted round to clear the ball, a CZ striker swung his foot, miss hit the ball and it rolled slowly but surely across the line. 1- 0 to CZ with 15 minutes left.
Having come back in the final of big games before, no one was ready to panic just yet. A change in personnel would surely create a chance. On minute 85, a chance was created but was rolled an inch too wide of the back post. On minute 91, striker Heptner got open and chested down a cross inside the 18 yard box. He spun quickly and shot. For that few milliseconds, time seemed to stop, as everybody stood and stared intensely waiting to see the net move, but unfortunately the ball again rolled agonizingly wide.
When the whistle finally sounded and the curtain came down, it was a pretty emotional moment for all, as this was the last road trip for the Placer United 97 Boys Gold team.
The boys had put in another tremendous effort competing against some of the top clubs and teams on the world stage at the 2015 Dr. Pepper Dallas Cup.