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Heat socks West Texas 4-1

Heat socks West Texas 4-1

Friday June 17, 2011 - Laredo routs West Texas at home, 4-1

Published: Friday, June 17, 2011 8:33 AM CDT
The Laredo Heat must have taken Jesus “Chucho” Ramirez’s honorary coaching wisdom onto the pitch Thursday night, as they bullied the West Texas Sockers by a score of 4-1 at the TAMIU Soccer Complex.

The famed Mexican League soccer coach was honorary coach as a guest of the Heat.

The home team certainly did not disappoint.

“This is what this is all about,” Heat forward Albert Escovar said.

“Winning games like this in the beautiful city of Laredo, our home and for these fans. It’s magical.”

Laredo (7-2-0, 22 points) hosted the Sockers to open a home-away two-game series between the two Mid-South Division rivals.

After falling behind on a miscue in the 16th minute, Laredo scored two pairs of goals – both in three-minute sets.

West Texas (3-5-0, 9 points) forced a corner kick early in the first half after almost scoring off a set-piece header that just sizzled over the cross bar.

The corner kick was defended well by Laredo, but a misfired clearance gave the Sockers their first goal.

“We gave up the first goal and had to change our game,” Heat coach Israel Collazo said.

“We needed to get back and attack like we know how to, and we had a lot of time to do so.

This was a great game, well played by both teams on the field.”

Forward Ben Everson found the ball at his feet 12 yards from the open Laredo goal and fired.

With West Texas leading 1-nil, Laredo’s 1-2 punch of forwards Esteban Bayona and Felix Garcia viscously its will.

In the 19th minute, Garcia timed a perfect sprint through the Sockers’ line, footing a pass and playing some 1-on-1 with goalkeeper Lief Craddock before equalizing the game.

Three minutes later, Bayona – ranked 12 in the Premier Development League in goals scored – received an assist from midfielder Gregory Mulamba and scored to take the lead.

Mulamba intercepted a Sockers pass, timed Bayona’s run and shared a hug with him after he nailed the ball into the far-side corner.

From then on, Laredo sat back and played a defensive game, waiting on an opportunistic counter attack.

“Into the second half, we wanted to defend,” Collazo said.

“We sat back and waited for our chances.

Things went our way (Thursday) against a strong offensive team.”

They finally got it, in a set, deep into the Sockers’ dominated second half.

West Texas saw five corner kicks without scoring in the opening minutes after halftime.

Laredo countered in the 81st minute when Bayona leapt after a cross, colliding with Craddock before Garcia wrangled the rebound and set up the first of substitute forward Escovar’s goals.

Three minutes later, Escovar timed a run after his midfield forced an interception, went 1-on-1 with Craddock again and beat him.

Craddock sprawled for the ball, but Escovar’s feinted shot and consequential rocket found the nylon for Laredo’s fourth consecutive goal.

“I wanted to make my team proud,” Escovar said.

“They gave me the chances once I got in, and scoring goals is the fun way to make everyone happy.

I got the keeper 1-on-1 and I knew he was tall, so I played away from him and tricked him.

“I got to crush the goal before their defenders could catch me.”

Heat goalkeeper Rodrigo Avila played every minute of the game, organizing his defense to suffocate several corners and making six saves.

The Heat now go to play West Texas and Chivas El Paso next week on the road before returning home July 1.

“These next two games are our most important,” Collazo said.

“We have to play two very tough teams and we must steal the points on the road to get a good playoff position.”