Los Amigos boys football strikes early, holds up late against Estancia

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The dark sky above opened up to a downpour just as the game ended on Monday.

As quickly as the raindrops arrived, goals for the Los Amigos high school boys’ soccer team also scored, who scored their entire first-half goal in a 4-2 victory over the ‘Estancia at home.

In quick succession, the Lobos scored goals from Izaiah Franco, Omar Arciga, Anthony Gutierrez and Humberto Rincon, sending Los Amigos to halftime with a 4-0 lead.

“We train all week, go out with the ball, go out and play together, find our attackers and just put pressure on the team from the start,” said Los Amigos coach Jesus Razo. “I think that’s what helped us… just to follow the game plan and the way we wanted to play.”

Los Amigos’ Omar Arciga, left, celebrates with Arturo Mota after scoring a goal in a men’s non-league soccer match on Monday.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

Los Amigos (4-2) are enjoying their second consecutive winning streak of the season, as the victory over the Eagles follows a 3-0 shutout by Marina last Thursday. Monday’s result marked the first time the Lobos have won a game in which they conceded a goal.

“It shows we were dedicated and wanted to come out and play,” Los Amigos captain and senior defender Omar Martinez said of his side’s quick start to the game. “The second half didn’t go our way. We hope we can fix it for the next game and just work on what we mess and do better with each game.

Arturo Mota and Rincon each recorded an assist for Los Amigos.

It would be a story in two halves, as Estancia played with the energy and fire of the competition to give herself a chance in the second half. The Eagles took 18 shots in their attempt to get back into the game after the break, and 11 of those shots went on target.

Cruz Valdovinos from Estancia and Federico Betancourt from Los Amigos tackle the ball during a boys soccer match.

Cruz Valdovinos from Estancia and Federico Betancourt from Los Amigos face each other in a boys’ soccer match on Monday.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

Richard Cervantes scored on a well-hitting shot while also making a run down the right side in the 52nd minute. Moments later, a red card to Los Amigos right-back David Macias with Kevin Flores forcing the action to the left of the box knocked the Lobos down a man for the remainder of the game.

Estancia (0-6) continued to push the ball forward and in the 59th minute Felix Solis brought the Eagles closer by dropping Cruz Valdovinos cross from the left into the back of the net.

The Eagles continued to put the pressure on. As the clouds rolled in and the daylight faded, Los Amigos goalkeeper Jorge Sanchez did well to stop the remaining six shots he got.

“It was like the game wasn’t going to end,” Sanchez said. “They were pushing and pushing, and they got closer and closer, especially since we didn’t have our eleventh man, it looked like the match was going to be stalled.”

Richard Cervantes of Estancia jumps over a sliding tackle from Omar Martinez of Los Amigos during a boys soccer match.

Richard Cervantes of Estancia jumps over a slipped tackle of Omar Martinez of Los Amigos in a men’s non-league soccer match on Monday.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

Sanchez gave a glimpse of his state of mind as his target was under siege.

“My only goal is to make my team proud,” added Sanchez. “I kept saying, ‘You got this. Do not worry. I wasn’t trying to think too much about anything.

The Lobos were keen to get back to their goal when the final whistle sounded to acknowledge the effort of their goalkeeper, who made nine saves after entering the game for the second half. Daniel Terrones kept the net in the first half.

Los Amigos goalkeeper Jorge Sanchez is congratulated by Randy Arciga following a men's non-league soccer match on Monday.

Los Amigos goalkeeper Jorge Sanchez is congratulated by Randy Arciga following a men’s non-league soccer match on Monday.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

Estancia coach Robert Castellano was encouraged by his team’s response in the second half.

“Every season, every team, they go through their cycles, they go through their ups and downs,” said Castellano. “It’s never a straight line, but we haven’t played regularly yet. Each team has a good time during a season. We just haven’t touched ours. …

“I believe in them, I believe in myself and I know we’re going to get there. It’s just a matter of time.”

Los Amigos' Anthony Gutierrez, right, congratulates Humberto Rincon after scoring a goal.

Los Amigos ‘Anthony Gutierrez, right, congratulates Humberto Rincon after scoring a goal in a non-league boys’ soccer match against Estancia on Monday.

(Scott Smeltzer / Personal Photographer)

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