PLACENCIA — Tustin and Valencia’s youth soccer teams played Tuesday in a 1-1 draw in a major Empire League game at Valencia High School.
Both teams had multiple chances to score and successfully passed plays close to goal.
However, the Tillers and Tigers also played excellent defenses, and neither team allowed their opponents to end those opportunities.
The Tillers (16 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw, 6 wins and 1 loss) are in the lead with the remaining three games. The Pacifica (9-6-3, 5-1-1), who beat his Lutherans 1-0 on Tuesday, is his second, while the Tigers (11-5-6, 4-1-2) his third.
“We came here with the sole purpose of not losing,” Tustin manager Hector Najera said. “The league championship is on the horizon. The intensity was there from his first minute. They certainly didn’t want to lose the game.”
Tustin defended to stop a forward who scored two goals and one assist in the Tigers’ 4-1 win over Tustin in the team’s first meeting on December 22 in Tustin. focused on.
“Tustin changed their system,” said Valencia coach Barry Gardner. “They brought in better players to protect us, to deal with (Hammond) because he’s a breakthrough guy. They double-teamed him and triple-teamed him. Well done. That was their game plan.”
Valencia goalkeeper Chris Dura made two diving saves in the final ten minutes of the contest.
Dula dived and struck a quick kick from Nathan Avina, then collected the ball as it tumbled down, preventing a nearby Tustin player from taking a shot on the rebound.
Dura then knocked out Gael Rosas’ shot, which received a perfect cross pass from Juan Luis Quintana.
Rosas’ wide-angle cross pass went through the box in the first half, but Tiller wasn’t there to receive it.
With about two minutes remaining in the game, a brawl broke out between the teams after Hammond knocked Tustin’s player to the ground.
Gardner said Hammond received a red card for the violation and Hammond could be suspended for multiple games if the referee found the attack to be overly violent.
“I don’t know,” said the coach. “It’s up to the umpire’s report. If he’s a regular red, he’ll be back in the next game. If he’s a heavy deficit, he’ll be suspended for the rest of the regular season, which is three games.”