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Heat ties with Jesters

Heat ties with Jesters

3-3 Wild finish ties Jesters with Heat

Victory slips away in 93rd minute

By Adam Geigerman
LAREDO MORNING TIMES
Published: Saturday, July 2, 2011 7:55 AM CDT
The Laredo Heat looked to have three points and the 3-2 victory over their Mid-South Division rivals, the New Orleans Jesters, until four excruciatingly long compensation minutes were given by the officials.

In a game dominated by the Heat’s possession and constant aggression, the third-place Jesters stole a 3-3 draw from Laredo on a waterlogged Friday night at Texas A&M International’s Soccer Complex.

“It’s always tough to draw in a match,” Heat coach Israel Collazo said.

“We were the better team and should have won this match.

It was very important to us to win. But things went differently.”

The Heat’s constant moving forward initiated multiple opportunities, as Laredo took five shots on goal and earned five corner kicks, but couldn’t find the net until 52nd minute.

By that point, they were already trailing New Orleans by a goal after Jester forward Reece Wilson nailed his mark from 15 yards away.

The assist came off the toes of midfielder Stuart Kirk from the nearside corner, allowing Wilson the one-timer.

The Jesters played nine players back in their half to absorb the Heat advances, waiting for counter-attack opportunities.

“It’s always frustrating when teams play back so much,” Heat forward Esteban Bayona said.

“We like to get up and attack, and it takes a lot of work when they play that way.”

Laredo entered the final half with the same rabid mentality as the first and saw two goals materialize within a span of four minutes.

In the 52nd minute, midfielder Greg Mulamba knotted the match at a goal apiece with rainbow header over New Orleans’ keeper Andrew Tarbell’s fingertips.

The cross came from midfielder Juan Ibarra and the Heat caught their second wind.

The electricity from the team’s first score sparked another opportunity just four short minutes later when Bayona flicked the ball into the net.

His knee-high volley gave the Heat their first lead of the game off an assist by forward Armando Begines, who was replacing the injured Felix Garcia.

“On my goal, I caught a pure header right at my feet,” Bayona said.

“I was just able to find the net. We had several chances, but things started falling in the second half for us.”

It took eight minutes for New Orleans to equalize the match again, when forward Paris Simmons poked the nearside net off an assist from Wilson.

Nearly 20 minutes passed before Laredo snatched the lead back on a Begines blast from three yards outside the Jesters’ box.

The game looked in hand for Laredo before the 93rd minute goal by Tony Judice, granting both teams one point for the draw.

Laredo returns to face Atlante FC from Cancun, Mexico, on July 7 in a friendly.