Early lead squandered after error


Denis Perez / The Advocate

Comet midfielder Nick Silva dribbles up the field as Yuba College midfielder Salvador Ramirez pressures him during Contra Costa College’s 2-1 Bay Valley Conference loss at home Friday.

By Luis Cortes , Sports Editor

Despite holding a lead and keeping the final score close, the Contra Costa College men’s soccer team fell 2-1 against Yuba College (2-3-1 in the Bay Valley Conference, 5-10-1 overall) Friday at the Soccer Field.

CCC (2-4 in the BVC, 2-13 overall) took a 1-0 lead three minutes after kickoff. Defender Moises Hernandez kicked a long-range shot that forced 49er goalkeeper Jose Madrigal to block the shot one-handed.

However, his attempted save deflected the ball to striker Eliezer Paul-Gindiri who jumped on the loose ball inside the penalty box for an easy CCC score.

Comet assistant coach Diego Garcia said his team was forced to use a different line up to begin the game.

“We had a new lineup to start because we didn’t have three starters. One was suspended and two were injured,” Garcia said.

The Comets will be closer to full strength when they face Napa Valley College Friday at 4 p.m. in Napa.

Comet freshman goalkeeper Quetzal Garcia kept the 49ers from scoring the tying goal in minute 36 with an outstanding one-on-one save, blocking the shot with his body. The stop was one of multiple saved shots from Garcia in the first half.

Unfortunately for the Comets, Garcia’s heroics were not enough to keep the 49ers off the scoreboard near the close of the first half.

The 49ers tied the game 1-1 six minutes later with a diagonal pass from the left wing by midfielder Bryan Del Rio to his oncoming teammate Jorge Avelar whose shot went past goalie Garcia.

With 18:17 left in the first half Garcia was fouled by 49ers defender Alejandro Barajas as both players went for a loose ball at the edge of the penalty box. Garcia jumped for the ball and Barajas was unable to stop forcing him to run into the leaping goalie.

Garcia hit the ground hard and stayed down for a minute.

The Comets were forced to make a substitution and inserted freshman goalie Orlando Perez coming in for the injured Garcia.

At halftime, the game was tied 1-1 with CCC attempting two shots on goal in the half. The 49ers attempted five shots.

Five minutes into the second half, Chotov was injured on a shot attempt. The freshman midfielder remained down on the ground in pain and was eventually carried off the field by teammate Nick

Silva and athletic trainer Lisa Martinez.

After the game, Chotov said he feared it could be his ACL.

“I still have to get a scan later, but I hope it isn’t my ACL because I tore it in high school,” he said.

At minute 6 of the second half, the 49ers came narrowly close to breaking the tie on a curving corner kick on the Comets’ left side that came off the crossbar.

Perez made a terrific close range save by blocking the ball with the middle of his body.

Assistant coach Garcia praised both freshman goalkeepers, while looking forward to next year.

“Both had a great game and both are freshmen so it’s good for them to compete now. Hopefully that carries on to next year,” Garcia said.

The Comets failed to capitalize after receiving a direct free kick inside the penalty box arc with 25 minutes to play. Moises Hernandez’s shot down the middle was deflected out for a CCC corner.

Following a bad cross from that corner that missed every Comet player, the 49ers cleared the ball toward the middle of the field.

Comet defender Luis Amurio missed the clearance and whiffing on the ball with 49er forward Jorge Avelar stealing the ball with only goalie Perez standing in the way to goal.
49ers’ head coach Rene Villegas said his team looked to capitalize on a Comet error in the second half.

“Toward the second half we noticed their (CCC’s) defenders missing some balls, so we told our forwards to play out wide and come in on the long balls and we scored on one. We decided to do that because someone scored a similar goal against us,” Villegas said.

Comet forward Eliezer Paul-Gindiri said his team had chances to score but failed to capitalize on the opportunities and the fast start.