Avon soccer team knocks Breckenridge powerhouse
BRECKENRIDGE -When two teams from either side of the pass play each other, it’s destined to be a hard fought match.In the fall mens soccer season opener at Kingdom Park in Breckenridge Sunday, the summer’s second place team, Aguascalientes (AGS), fell to league newcomer, R&H Mechanical from Avon, 2-0.R&H have chosen to bring their squad to Breckenridge for the fall season.”(It was) a little tough because (AGS) plays hard, but we have a better team. We got the ball in the midfield and with our fast offense, we were able to score goals,” said Julio Landaros, manager of R&H.In the first half, neither side was able to find the net, as both teams played a tightly controlled game. When opportunities arose, the goalies were quick to quelch any offensive uprising.When AGS’ Hugo Ayala grabbed a rebound and found himself alone with R&H keeper Francisco Javiar, Javiar’s outstanding save pushed the ball wide and out of play.In the 28th minute, AGS goalie Rogelio Ortega faced a rocket. He kept the game scoreless by pushing the ball over the bar.In the 35th minute, R&H again came close when Juan Carlos headed a corner kick that stood a sure chance at being the game’s first goal, only to be knocked out from the goal line by AGS defender Juan Garces.R&H continued to apply steady pressure, but left few chances in their wake, as Ortega managed to collect the few shots that were on target.The score remained deadlocked at the break, but not for long.Right out of halftime, R&H took advantage of a sluggish AGS to go up 1-0.A lapse by the back four of AGS allowed Carlos to hold the ball in the penalty area, pull further to his right to create a better angle, then tuck the ball into the low far corner. It was a lovely finish worthy of this match, which featured fine, disciplined play by R&H as well as a few quality stretches by AGS.The second goal came just a few ticks later as R&H drove the length of the pitch with control and determination. A give-and-go at the top of the 18-yard box to Carlos stood the AGS defense as still as statues, and made room for Carlos to earn his second goal of the match. He simply took the onside pass and nipped it past Javiar into the far corner.A bit of controversy entered the match in the 70th minute, when the ball appeared to have crossed the R&H goal line after a header by Hugo Ayala. Ayala found himself unmarked at the back post on a well-delivered corner kick and headed the ball down and seemingly into goal.A defender was able to send the ball back into play, causing Ayala to call for a handball on the goal line. Referee Sandy Briggs conferred with his assistant, Ryan Bogart, on the near sideline, and it was ruled a legal clearance by the defender of a ball that did not fully cross the goal line. “(The referee) couldn’t see it from where he was standing, but the (defender) hit the ball with his hand then kicked it out with his foot,” Ayala said.The two sides played on at even strength until the final 10 minutes, when it seemed the AGS side was fatigued and lacking offensive creativity. AGS did manage a late challenge by Ayala, but, again, Orega performed a highlight-reel save to keep his shutout intact.R&H will undoubtedly earn the respect of the league with this opening display against one of the county’s finer sides.AGS played with a different look from their summer lineup, as they added Leighton Gibbs to play alongside Beto up front, and kept both Hugo Ayala and Erik Ayala in the midfield.The league has expanded to eight teams and includes Los Diablos, from Leadville, Avon-based R&H Mechanical, and Vallarta, a break away team from the championship Service Master roster.Atlas is now playing under the name Monterrey. They join a much different looking Service Master team, Las Aguilas, Aguascalientes and Toluca as the returning outfits.Avon’s R&H Mechanical, along with Los Diablos from Leadville, are part of the expansion of the league into its current eight-team format.
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