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Disputed goal in OT knocks out Century
SANTA ANA – Both coaches seemed to agree that the most deserving team didn’t necessarily win Tuesday's CIF-SS Division 3 boys soccer semifinal between Century and El Rancho of Pico Rivera.
But despite what anyone thought was or wasn’t deserved, El Rancho – led by Christian Roldan’s hat trick – came away with a 3-2 victory in overtime at Century High to end the Centurions’ season.
“It’s a tough one to lose when we were truly the better team, I thought, today,” Century coach Bruce Silverman said. “We made a couple of defensive errors (and) they capitalized.”
As El Rancho coach Dominic Picon put it: “We may not even deserve to win today. … For large parts of the game they outplayed us.”
The game ended controversially, seven minutes into overtime, when Roldan’s header from a Miguel Vilchis corner kick deflected off the underside of the crossbar, came down and bounced away from the goal. As the Century players scrambled to clear it away, however, the assistant referee along the sideline ruled that the ball had indeed crossed the goal line.
“That goal was questionable,” Silverman said. “A lot of people didn’t think it went in, but obviously it’s the referee that makes that decision.”
After having to come from behind in their quarterfinal match, the Centurions (14-10-4) got off to a dream start Tuesday. Ronaldo Pineda notched his eighth goal of the playoffs less than two minutes into the game to give the Centurions a 1-0 lead.
Pineda and his cousin Amirgy Pineda led the Century attack that controlled the ball for long stretches while Central defenders Jose Luis Hernandez and Raul Amaral kept the potent El Rancho offense under wraps for most of the contest.
The top-seeded Dons (25-2-1), however, would not wilt under Century’s pressure. Roldan twice, in the 13th and 68th minutes, forced Century defenders to make mistakes that he turned into what he called “trash goals.”
Century’s Kevin Alberto tied the score at two in the 72nd minute to eventually force overtime.
El Rancho will face Channel Islands in the final.