BY ESTEBAN RAMIREZ Special to The Californian
Behind a game-winning goal from forward Eduardo Plascencia during stoppage time of overtime, the Chowchilla Redskins beat the Mira Monte Lions 3-2 in the semifinal round of the Division IV boys soccer playoffs.
"They played really hard out there, and I'm very proud of them," Chowchilla coach Martin Gomez said. "Hopefully we can do the same thing we did here."
The Redskins (19-4-6) will go on to the finals on Friday against Delano, which beat Shafter 1-0.
The game was played under tough weather conditions, and the Lions (15-5-2) had a tough time adjusting and fell behind early in the match.
Redskins defender Fabian Hernandez kicked the ball from past midfield and the ball took a bounce on the soaked field and went over Lions goalkeeper Angel Cortez to give Chowchilla a 1-0 lead.
Redskins midfielder Luis Buenrostro added a goal in the first half for a 2-0 lead, but the Lions were able to cut into the lead with a goal from midfielder Miguel Parra during stoppage time of the first half.
"Those two early goals, because of the rain and the weather, they hurt us," Mira Monte coach Ricardo Gutierrez said.
Mira Monte came out as the aggressor in the second half and tied the game nine minutes in on a goal by striker Edgar Alvarado, who scored their game-winning goal in the quarterfinal.
Both teams had their chances to score late but just couldn't mange to take the lead until stoppage time of the second overtime period, when Plascencia scored the game-winning goal with a header on a corner kick.
"We battled hard," said Gutierrez.
"The weather made it real difficult for us and really took our advantage away from us.
"We weren't able to have a big crowd and we weren't able to put our possession of the ball and to put our skill into effect."