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Dallas Soccer News - Keller Central soccer 1 Byron Nelson 0, Abraham DeAnda, Josh Starkey, Sean Garcia

Last second penalty kick lifts Keller Central past Byron Nelson

Published 2/13/2015 8:33:19 PM by staff from dallas
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Showdown Friday.  The battle for supremacy in District 5-6A between first place Byron Nelson and second place Keller Central.  BNHS could take a stranglehold on the district race with a win while CFC could move into a tie for top spot if they could grab a road win.  Game on.

Let me first warn you.  This one was not pretty.  The Soccer Moms in the stands probably all needed an Advil during the match.  If you love soccer because of the beautiful game, tonight was not for you.  It was primal soccer.  The kind you would have seen in Bedrock back in the times of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. But if you enjoy competitive, hard nosed soccer then you would have liked this one.  To put it simply: This was a war.

The home side started on the front foot generating a couple of half chances in the opening five minutes of play.  Byron piled on even more pressure from there as Josh Starkey was forced to make an early good save.  Could Central stave off the onslaught and settle into the game?  Starkey made another save and we were ten minutes in before Keller made their first journey into the Byron half, but a Sean Garcia cross was off target and the danger was averted.

In the 12th minute the official made a horrible call on a 50/50 header in the box awarding Byron Nelson a penalty kick.  The Central assistant coach earned a yellow for his valid protests.  Once again Josh Starkey was up to the task a he dove down to his left to make a nice save on the spot kick.  Fifteen minutes in and we were scoreless despite the fireworks.

The game devolved from there as it became more about hard tackles, fouls and physical play.  Neither side were playing much soccer at all.  The effort was in full display, but it wasn't pretty at all to watch.    The physical  tone of the match did seem to suit Central though as the field began to tilt towards the Byron Nelson goal.  A long throw-in almost produced the opening goal as the Evan Ripic toss was met by the volley of Sean Garcia.  The Byron keeper made the high save to keep the game scoreless.  0-0 to the break.

The first chance of the second half fell to Byron Nelson as a ridiculous referee decision gave them a dangerous set piece.  Once again it was Josh Starkey to the rescue as he went high to snatch the volley.  Central answered right back as Fabian Linares whistled a shot just wide of the left post.

In the 50th minute Central had their best chance of the game as a long Sean Garcia ball fell perfectly for Evan Ripic who blasted over the crossbar to the groans of the CFC fans.  After that chance the game devolved once again into a physical game of fouls and long set pieces.

The next big chance fell to the home side and it was another free kick.  The free kick taker curled in a beauty that beat Starkey but not the crossbar.  Central cleared and the match stayed scoreless.

Then some more controversy in front of the Byron Nelson goal.  Sean Garcia and the BNHS keeper came together.  Really not much to it at all, but the referee decided to card both.  For Sean Garcia it was his second yellow of the match so it meant to the bench for him for he remainder of the night.  Central would have to play the final six minutes with ten men.

Keller Central were pushing forward despite being a man down.  A long free kick to the back post was headed back in front of goal by Fabian Linares.  The knock down fell to Alex Kimmell whose close range volley was saved by the keeper.  We were not done though.

It was total chaos in the dying seconds.  Another Keller Central attack produced a shot that looked headed for the side netting.  It came off the inside of the post and went back across the goal mouth as the clock ticked under five seconds.  From there a shot on goal was clearly blocked by the arm of a Byron Nelson defender.  The referee pointed to the spot as the clock ticked to zero.  Correctly the referee ordered the penalty kick to be taken.  Truly a chance to win the match at the death.  The pressure was put on sophomore Abraham Deanda who was cool as a rock star.  The keeper went right and DeAnda shot low left for the dramatic victory.

So there you have it.  The District is all square now as Keller Central and Byron Nelson both now sit on top with 5-1-0 records.  Mark down March 10th on your calendars right now.  That's when Byron Nelson will travel to Keller Central for the return leg and most likely the district title decider.

Label: Keller Central soccer 1 Byron Nelson 0, Abraham DeAnda, Josh Starkey, Sean Garcia
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