Sockers Withstand Relentless Ontario Side to Continue Playoff Run
An intense night in Ontario saw the San Diego Sockers edge the Fury to advance to the Western Conference Championship. Ontario Fury’s win in the second leg prompted a mini-game to be played following the final whistle on Tuesday night.
San Diego will take on Soles de Sonora this Sunday in the first leg of the matchup at the Valley View Casino Center.
MASL Soccer News: The San Diego Sockers came out on top Tuesday night during an intense matchup versus Southern California rival Ontario Fury. The Sockers fell 8-4 in the second match of the two-leg series at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, CA, but were able to salvage a win during the mini-game played after the conclusion of the match.
San Diego won the first leg at home on Sunday night as the 15-minute mini-game decided who advanced to the Western Conference Championship.
Ontario opened the match with nothing to lose as they recorded two early goals from Leonardo de Oliveira and “Chico” Francisco Cordeiro. Sockers started to get back into the game but couldn’t find an opening as they were stunned by a 3rd Fury goal just before the end of the 1st Quarter.
With a 3-0 advantage to Ontario at the end of the 1st quarter, Sockers forward Max Touloute was able to pull his club within a goal heading into the half. Touloute blew past three Ontario defenders to tally San Diego’s first goal of the night. He then provided a sleek back heel to Erick Tovar to bring the match within one.
Cordeiro added the fourth tally for Ontario in the 3rd quarter, but Sockers defender Cesar Cerda answered back to bring the scoreline to 4-3.
Maicon De Abreu responded with 2:12 left in the quarter with the assist from Cordeiro. Touloute’s strike off the rebound of Tovar’s shot off the boards made it 5-4.
A goal from Juan Carlos Gonzalez helped Ontario regain its two-goal lead as San Diego was then forced to bring on the sixth attacker. Israel Sesay and Nick Perera both added goals for the Fury while holding the one-man advantage to record the 8-4 victory. The matchup went to a mini-game to decide who would advance to the next round.
Within 9 seconds of the mini-game, San Diego scored the goal that would decide the match. Brian Farber held off two Ontario defenders to provide Luan Oliveira with a pass at the top of the penalty area. Oliveira touched the ball to right of his defender and struck a shot that goalkeeper Joey Kapinos almost kept out of his net.
Two minutes later, Perera flicked a ball to a streaking Jayme Kapinos whose shot bounced off the wall and was saved on the line by San Diego goalkeeper Chris Toth.
The entire stadium erupted in protest over the referee’s decision to deny the goal that was too close to call. The official received assistance from the goal line judge who declared the ball did not fully cross the line.
“Obviously, there is a sour taste in our mouth because we could have done better,” said Kapinos. “But that’s how the game goes. The goal on the line, it looks like a goal to us, but the referees state differently.”
Ontario kept on the offensive as they attempted to fight their way back into the match but couldn’t find the equalizer.
“We knew they were going to come out strong,” said Touloute. “We weathered the storm in the first half, but the second half they came out stronger than we did in order to get the win. We believed that as a team we’re better. So it was a matter of us coming out and doing what we are supposed to do. As a number one seed, going out, fighting and putting the ball in the back of the net.”
The Sockers now advance to the Western Conference Championship to face rival Soles de Sonora. The first leg will be at 5:05 p.m. PT on Sunday, March 19th, at the Valley View Casino Center.