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Heat stuns Club America

Heat stuns Club America

Wins 4-1 in first home game

By MATT GORICKI

LAREDO MORNING TIMES

 If the Laredo Heat’s friendly match against Club America on Tuesday was any indication, the Heat might be legitimate contenders for the Premier Development League title.

 Laredo toppled Club America’s under-20 team, 4-1, at Texas A&M International thanks to a dominating second half performance.

 “I am a little bit surprised to be honest,” Laredo Heat midfielder Luis De La Vega said of the win. “It wasn’t that close. We knew it would be a tough game.” De La Vega, who is from Monterrey,

 Mexico, has heard stories about how good Club America is since childhood, but that didn’t stop him from scoring the game’s deciding goal to break a 1-1 tie.

 Near the 68-minute mark, Laredo had a 2-on-1 advantage deep in Club America territory. A perfect pass was sent to the Heat’s Juan Nava, who kicked a shot that was blocked. The deflected ball went directly to De La Vega, who kicked it past Club America’s helpless goalkeeper Carlos Lopez Rubio from about nine yards out.

 “I went with the play,” De La Vega said. “The ball ended up in my feet. It was easy.” Nava scored at the 76-minute mark to put Laredo ahead 3-1. Rubio had come off the line to play the ball, but Nava beat him to it from 12 yards out for the goal. Ten minutes later, Eduardo Gonzalez demonstrated his fine footwork when he completely  turned around a Club America defender before easily putting the ball past Rubio.

 The first half wasn’t as impressive for the Heat, as Club America controlled the ball for most of the opening 45  minutes. Even with that control, the Heat still managed to strike first, which was important for the team’s confidence against a top opponent. Just over four minutes into the match, Laredo’s Irving Villanueva took advantage of a Club America defensive miscue.

 A Club America defender slipped and the ball went directly to Villanueva for a breakaway. Rubio stood little chance of making a save as Villanueva calmly placed the ball out Rubio’s reach from 10 yards out. A little more than seven minutes later, Club America evened the match with a talented offensive play by Luis Olascoaga Reyes. After some sound passing by Club America, the ball worked over to Reyes on the right side of the field. From about seven yards out to the right of the net, Reyes spotted the ball perfectly over the hands of Heat goalkeeper Emmanuel Frias into the left corner of the goal.

 The majority of the remaining 33 minutes was spent around midfield with Club America controlling possession. Even possessing the ball for well more than half the time, Club America couldn’t make any deep headway into Heat  territory.

 Club America finally broke through for a golden chance at the 43-minute when Renato Gonzalez Castellanos connected a perfect pass to star forward Antonio Lopez Ojeda.

 On the right side of the field, Ojeda had the angle on two Laredo defenders and attempted a shot on Frias from about eight yards out.

 The ball never made it to the keeper as Laredo defender Adan Villavicencio slid in front of the shot and blocked it out  of bounds. The Heat had little trouble clearing the ensuing corner kick to keep the score deadlocked at 1. Less than a minute later, a header by Club America from 10 yards out missed wide right.