Real Salt Lake-Arizona’s U18 soccer academy team started with a bang versus Real So Cal. Etiandro Tavares score in the seventh minute lead the initial attack, but the RSL-AZ soccer academy boys could not hold on to the lead as they lost a heartbreaker 1-2 to the visiting Californian academy.
The morning game started brightly as Tavares knifed his way through the RSC’s defense, before combining with Ricardo Velasco, crashing the ball high into the net. RSL-AZ continued their tough attack of the Californian’s goal, but could not finish the attack and missed several good opportunities for goals.
The second half started in the same fashion as RSL-AZ continued its attack and Real So Cal stoutly defend their end of the pitch. Halfway through the second period, Jordan Allen, whose exploits down the left flank had caused RSC’s defense all kinds of problems, was pulled down as he cut into the penalty area for a penalty kick. Allen stepped up to the spot but although his effort beat the goalie, but the ball crashed off the upright and away from danger.
Real So Cal capitalized on the miscue catching Real Salt Lake-AZ’s goalkeeper in possession of the ball and forward Richard Martinez stole the ball and tied the game for Real So Cal at 1-1. With two minutes left in regulation RSC forward Lucas Reilly, scored off a corner kick as he arrived at the front post area, heading the ball home for the lead. As time expired, Real So Cal held on to take all three points.
The Real Salt Lake-AZ’s U16 squad fought a fierce battle against a resolute Real So Cal team determined to go home with at least a share of the spoils.
The first half went by with RSL-AZ having the advantage in territory and possession, but at the end the half, the score was still nil to nil.
The second half was a little different as RSL-AZ winger, Bay Kurtz, wrestled the ball away from a Real So Cal defender before finding Trevor Hyman at the top of the box. Hyman took a touch and then hammered the ball past the Real So Cal goalkeeper for a 1 to nil RSL-AZ lead.
Ten minutes later Real Salt Lake – Arizona soccer academy would go two up. This time it was Jose Navarro, who found space in the penalty area and made sure of his chance.
In the 57th minute Real So Cal pulled one back as Real Salt Lake-AZ defender Jon Zabasajja, in an attempt to clear the ball, deflected it into his own goal, giving the travelling team a glimmer of hope.
Determined not to throw away the game, RSL-AZ forward Jose Navarro took the game by the scruff of the neck, finding the net in the 73rd minute and closing out the game in a 3-1 win, giving RSL-AZ U16’s all three points.
Real Salt Lake-AZ U18 and U16 soccer academies return to the field at the Grande Sports World fields on Saturday, May 19 at 10:00am and 12:30 pm respectively.