The road to the Bay League boys soccer championship figures to be a difficult one, and if Tuesday’s Mira Costa-Peninsula league opener is any indication, then get ready for a slugfest.
Both teams failed to score in the first half and then scored within a minute of each other in the second half.
The game was tied at the end of regulation, and in the second 10-minute overtime period Alex Rosas-Juarez converted a penalty kick to lift the Mustangs to a 2-1 win.
“We had a makeshift lineup, we had fullbacks playing forward, a couple of halfbacks that had to play on the back line for a few minutes. That was kind of a hectic game,” Mira Costa assistant coach Al Brown said. “We had 14 guys to start the game and I think we had 12 to finish.
“That was an anyway-we-can-get-it-done kind of game.”
In the second overtime, a Peninsula defender had the ball hit his hand in the penalty area, and after a brief consultation by the officials, a penalty kick was awarded to Mira Costa (11-3-2, 1-0).
“It’s the Bay League, every game is competitive, both teams are always going to bring it,” Peninsula coach Patrick Daley said. “I think it is sad that it came down to a PK. I don’t think that did the game any justice, but can’t do anything about it now.”
After a scoreless first half, the Panthers (9-3-2, 0-1) got on the board first as Max Hauser cleaned up a scramble in front of Mira Costa goalkeeper Drew Rohm.
One minute later, Evan Coons scored the equalizer for Mira Costa. The play started on a throw-in and the ball was headed back across toward Coons.
From there the game settled into a tight, physical clash, with both teams pushing up and down the field.
“I thought we played well, we just didn’t finish our opportunities in the first half,” Daley said. “I think we need to finish our opportunities.”
The teams will meet again Jan. 24 at Peninsula. The Mustangs hope they can put a full, healthy team on the field for the rematch.
“As long as guys keep their heads on their shoulders, stay composed, that’s what we’re trying to do,” Brown said. “I’m really proud of our defense.”