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Match Recap: Heat Tie Bravos 3 – 3 in Rio Grande Valley

Match Recap: Heat Tie Bravos 3 – 3 in Rio Grande Valley

May 26, 2009

Any hopes the Laredo Heat had of making the 2009 U.S. Open Cup were dashed early by the Rio Grande Valley Bravos.


The pace in the first half was fast and furious on both sides of the ball; however, it was the Bravos who looked faster and more precise on the ball.


After a 30 minute delay in the start of the game, the Bravos jumped on the Heat with a goal by Alex Rios in the 15th minute. Rios goal was assisted by Tomas Banda.


The Heat was dealt a severe blow when Raul Quinones was served with a red card in the 27th minute. Soon after, the Bravos took advantage of being a man up and scored their second goal of the game when Reynol Fuentes found the back of the net in minute 35.


The Bravos took the 2 – 0 lead into the half and were probably pretty sure that the game was in hand.


At the start of the second half, the Heat came out explosive. Just four minutes into the second half, Esteban Bayona scored the Heat’s first goal of the game. An unassisted beauty of a goal that got things started for the Gateway City club.


At 60th minute mark, the Heat made the Bravos pay for a foul just outside the box. Midfielder Joel Perez shot a precise ball passed the Bravos net minder to tie the game up at two.


At this point, it was a brand new ball game for the Heat.


Just four minutes later, Luis Reyes put the Heat on top for the first time in the game. At this point, the Bravos faithful were stunned by the tremendous comeback by a Heat team playing with a man down.


It was not much longer when the home side tied up the game at three. Salvador Luna was left alone on the left side of the defense and took full advantage of the situation.


The Bravos could have iced a victory at home when they were awarded a penalty kick in the 80th minute but the Heat’s Ryan Cooper came up huge when he stopped a hard shot to his right that preserved the tie for the Laredo Heat.


The Laredo Heat did not qualify to represent the PDL’s Mid-South Division in the U.S. Open Cup with the tie in Hidalgo as they needed to win by at least a two goal differential but they did show great heart, actually the heart of a champion, coming back from a 2 – 0 deficit at halftime.


The El Paso Patriots will be the Mid-South Division representative in the U.S. Open Cup. Good luck to the Patriots from the Laredo Heat.