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Chavez, Vikings edge Raiders

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Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2020 11:00 pm

Sometimes the third time is the charm.

That was the case for Brownsville Pace’s Erik Chavez, who saved his best effort for the last of his three scoring chances against Brownsville Rivera for the decisive goal in a 1-0 win in the BISD Showcase on Saturday at Brownsville Veterans Memorial.

After Chavez got off two point-blank shots at the 5:37 mark, Raiders goalkeeper Rodrigo Planeda denied him on the first try and stood his ground to flick away the second shot off of a short rebound.

Chavez and the Vikings took advantage of a giveaway by Rivera’s Efrain Garcia in front of the Raiders’ net to get on the board first with 29 seconds left in the half, as Chavez deposited the ball in the top right corner to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead at the break.

“We had the wind in our favor,” Pace coach Mario A. Zamora said. “We needed to take advantage of that during the first half. We recovered the ball (after the turnover), and (Chavez) was able to put the ball on the (weak side) on the right side of the goal.”

The error the Raiders made was a result of hesitation that blemished what was otherwise an even half between the two teams.

“That’s been the story of our tournament,” Rivera coach Salvador Garcia said. “We had plenty of chances, and we made a simple mistake and they scored on us. ... I’ve been around and I understand that sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”

Rivera ratcheted up the intensity during the second half and spent nearly the entire period on the attack, beginning with an unobstructed midrange shot by David Villarreal that went straight into the arms of Pace goalie Juan Lucio.

“In the second half they had (the majority of) the chances,” Zamora said. “But we defended very well. We reinforced our defense today, and we were able to hold off their attack. I think that’s what we’re working on.”

Salvador De Leon took a free kick for Rivera at the 35-minute mark. De Leon drew another foul and free kick two minutes late from 15 yards out, and the Raiders managed to get a shot off but it carried wide of the goal.

Jamin Muniz was able to slip past the Pace defense for a 1-on-1 opportunity with Lucio with 30 minutes to go after a nifty through ball by Kevin Zarazagas, but Muniz’s shot was knocked away by Lucio.

Villarreal had another shot opportunity that was launched out of bounds into the side of the net, and the Raiders had a corner kick that was snuffed out by the Vikings’ defense at the 17-minute mark.

A corner by De Leon with seven minutes to go failed to create another good chance and was cleared out by Pace. Seconds later, Daniel Esquivel’s shot on goal landed softly into arms of Lucio.

After nearly 40 minutes of applying relentless pressure, Rivera’s Hector Ramirez orchestrated the Raiders’ last stand, a final counterattack that began on their side of midfield and ended in front of the goal.

Pace’s Gabriel Morales was issued a yellow card for his aggressive challenge with 43 seconds to go. Zarazagas took the free kick for Rivera, and after an errant header and some chaos in front of the net, the clock ran out on Rivera’s comeback bid.

Garcia acknowledged that while his team did dominate possession, he felt the number of quality scoring opportunities weren’t high enough to reflect how much time his team spent in control of the ball.

“The bottom line is, you’ve got to create chances,” Garcia. “Yeah, we created a few chances here and there. But not with the kind of possession that we had. We’ve got to be more productive in the offensive third (of the field). We have to create more chances and make a lot more movement. We still have a few weeks to go before the first day of district, so hopefully the kids can learn from it and be ready for that.”

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