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Bravos defeat Heat in Penalty kicks

April 23, 2009

By NINO CARDENAS

 

LAREDO MORNING TIMES

 

Published: Thursday, April 23, 2009 8:18 AM CDT

 

The opening round of the LareDOS Cup Tournament went to the Nuevo Laredo Bravos as they defeated the Laredo Heat 5-2 in penalty kicks on Wednesday night.

 

The game finished in a 1-1 stalemate in regulation, and the Bravos capitalized on their penalty kicks to take home the cup.

 

The tournament drew a large number of fans from both clubs at the Texas A&M International Soccer Complex.

 

Bravos goalkeeper Roman Lozano figured big in his team's win, stopping a Daniel Galvan penalty kick.

 

Heat goalie Ryan Cooper missed his kick, hitting the left post and setting up the game-winner, knocked in by Carlos Garcia.

 

The penalty kick goals from the Bravos were from Joel Lopez, Mario Aceves and Raul Rodriguez.

 

The only Heat player to knock in his shot was Joel Perez.

 

The Bravos knocked in the opening score in the first half on a Benjamin Patiño goal.

 

They failed to hold onto the lead, as the Heat's Albert Escobar knocked in the equalizer in the 77th minute.

 

The goal was the final straw for Nuevo Laredo coach Ricardo Lopez Estrada, who got sent to the showers for arguing with the official.

 

"The important thing is that the fans were happy," Bravos president Cesar Valdez said.

 

"Soccer is something that unites us both.

 

Somebody had to win and obviously we are happy we won, but more importantly that the fans were satisfied,"

 

Things were heating up early as the referee was quite liberal with the colored cardboard.

 

Not helping the physical nature of the contest was the pre-arranged rule that both teams would stick with 11 players on the field no matter if they were shown a red card.

 

"What happened is that it's normal when a team that has been playing for a while and a team that is just beginning for the match to turn into a tough played contest," Valdez said.

 

"In the end, though, it helps everybody out."

 

Added Heat coach Israel Collazo, "It's better for me to be able to see all eleven players on the field.

 

The Bravos are a physical team, well coached and we just have to keep on working."

 

The Bravos had two red cards, and both teams were littered with yellow cards.

 

(Nino Cardenas may be reached at 728-2578 or nino@lmtonline.com)