Second-half push lifts Pasadena soccer over Burroughs
Pasadena Bulldogs come back from deficit, score three times in the second half and defeat league-leading Burroughs Indians, 3-1.
Pasadena's Danny Banuelos (26) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a second half goal for the Bulldogs. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer / January 28, 2013)
Although the Bulldogs seemed to control the tempo through much of the first 40 minutes, they had nothing to show for it.
For the Indians — who came into the contest in first place in league — they made good on their best opportunity and went into halftime with a one-goal lead.
The Pasadena offense came to life in the second half, however, scoring the equalizer just two minutes in. The Bulldogs tallied the game-winner 29 minutes later to send Burroughs away with a 3-1 loss on its own Memorial Field.
The loss was the first in the last five league matches for the Indians. It also forces Burroughs to regroup with just four games remaining in the Pacific League campaign.
“We can’t sit around and think of this too much because we have a match coming up on Wednesday and one on Friday,” said Kodama, whose squad faces two road games later this week against Muir and Crescenta Valley. “What’s going to win the league this season is every single guy playing every single play. This league is just too tight.”
Burroughs (10-6-2, 7-3 in league for 21 points) falls into a tie for first place in league with Crescenta Valley (6-1-3 in league for 21 points), which defeated Burbank, 5-1, on Monday. Pasadena improves to 12-4-1, 6-3-1.
Pasadena began the match with a strong offensive push, creating two prime opportunities in the first three minutes.
“When we play technically we’re a very good team,” Pasadena Coach Cherif Zein said. “But you have to understand, Burroughs is a very good team and they’re top of the league. I was happy with the way that we were playing and our guys did a great job.
It was Burroughs that was able to cash in with its best scoring chance in the first half. In the 20th minute, Brandon Gerlach corralled the ball on the far right side and spotted a streaking Dexter Dysthe on the opposite side of the field. Gerlach launched a pin-point pass through the middle that landed just in front of Dysthe. While not missing a step, Dysthe got the ball and directed it past goalkeeper Jimmy Castillo from 15 yards out.
“That was a nice goal,” Kodama said. “Give credit to Brandon for that very good pass.”
The Indians went into the half with a 1-0 lead, but the advantage didn’t last long once the second half started. Two minutes in, Pasadena’s Brandon Hildreth took a free kick from the far right side, five feet inside the line and about 20 yards from the goal. Hildreth delivered a monster shot than bent its way around keeper Elliot Whitecotton.
Over the next 30 minutes, Burroughs had only two legitimate scoring chances and it wouldn’t capitalize on either.
The Bulldogs didn’t have many chances either, but took advantage of a solid opportunity in the 71st minute. On another free kick, this time from 25 yards out, the ball sailed toward a group of players near the Indians goal. Through the scrum, Danny Banuelos was able to free himself and head the ball on an offering that Whitecotton had no chance of saving.
“I just tried to get good position and try and get a chance at the ball,” Banuelos said. “When I saw the ball coming in and I said ‘This one’s mine.’ I was just able to get a head on it and when I fell down on the ground I saw the ball was on the bottom of the net.”
The Bulldogs added an insurance goal three minutes later on a tally by Oscar Venegas, who outran two Burroughs defenders on a breakaway.