Truman head boys soccer coach Manny Tovar was not pleased with his team’s performance in Wednesday’s semifinal in the Raytown South Tournament.
He gave his team a stern talk at halftime of a contest against Raytown South and voiced his displeasure with their play during a lengthy post-game talk.
The lack of discipline and fluidity with their passes were the main concerns for Tovar.
Despite not meeting the standards of their head coach, the Patriots still managed to get a game-winning goal from Hernan Andrade with 3:21 left in double overtime to take a 3-2 win over the Cardinals.
Truman advanced to the championship game against crosstown rival Van Horn today, who won 2-0 over North Kansas City Tuesday.
“Overall, it was not a very good game on our end,” Tovar said. “(Riley Mickelson) is a good player and he’s technically sound. I think (Raytown South) deserved to win this game. They did a lot more than we did.
“We didn’t do what we practiced. But we won, so that’s the good thing about it, I guess. We just couldn’t pass the ball. I don’t know if it was because it was right after school or what. We didn’t pass it well.”
Senior midfielder Andre Guzman said he shoulders a good amount of the responsibility for his team’s sloppy play.
“We played sloppy, but luckily we were able to come out with the win,” said Guzman, who will not be able to play in today’s championship because of a red card he received late.
After a scoreless first overtime, Andrade got a centering pass from junior midfielder Jose Calderon and fired a shot under the crossbar from halfway inside the 18-yard box for the winning shot.
“I was lucky,” Andrade said. “I was in the middle and Jose Calderon gave me a pass and I got it on my left foot and shot it with my right.”
Some of the sloppy play was apparent in the first quarter as South had many clean looks inside the penalty box and a handful of one-on-one opportunities against Patriots goalkeeper Jaxon Kalig. Some of those opportunities went just wide of the goal and others were stopped by Kalig.
“Our back line wasn’t staying up front and we were having a confrontation,” Guzman said. “We weren’t staying together as a whole and it left gaps all over the field. They just penetrated and it was easy for them to get behind us.”
Truman had its fair share of chances in the first half, but the Cardinals were the first to capitalize on theirs as Brandon Chacon had Kalig one-on-one, deked the Truman keeper and punched in the shot on a wide-open net for a 1-0 lead midway through the first half.
Chacon later had an open shot off a rebound at close range, but the ball went just wide right. After senor midfielder Korby Ring had a powerful shot stopped by a diving Rodrigo Torres late in the first half, Truman finally got the equalizer. Senior forward Daniel Medrano found a little bit of space inside the box off a corner kick from senior midfielder Raul Romero and booted it in for the tie with 6:36 left in the first half.
In the final minute before halftime, Guzman gave Truman a 2-1 lead when he dribbled the ball to the right side of the box and put in a perfect cross field shot inside the far post.
“I saw the defender and decided to take it in my own hands,” Guzman said. “I took it to the middle, then I cut outside and chipped it to the weak side. The goalie was overcommitted to my side.”
Five minutes into the second half, the Patriots had a close call when Kalig came off his line and got out of position, leaving the entire goal open. His defense was there to assist him, however. Rodelvi Alonzo cleared a ball that was headed for inside the right post off a point-blank shot.
Shortly after a South goal was waved off by offsides, Cameron Houts sent a centering pass to Mickelson, who sent a cross-field shot inside the far past to tie it 2-2 in the 59th minute.
“We had two nonchalant halves, and we were lucky to get a win from it,” Tovar said.
Now, the Patriots will turn their attention to Van Horn.
“With a team like them, they are strong,” Guzman said of the Falcons. “They have a strong midfield that can break you down. We’ll just have to be on our toes. I know we’re ready.”