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Heat still alive

Heat still alive

Wins to earn three points

By Adam Geigerman
Laredo Morning Times

On the same night that the Laredo Heat saw its run of five straight Mid-South Division crowns get taken away by the Austin Aztex, Laredo faced El Paso at the Texas A&M International Soccer Complex on Saturday in a pivotal match carrying implications for the second and final playoff position.

The Heat won 1-0 off a 69th minute corner-kick goal by United alumnus and Heat veteran Daniel Garza.

With Austin’s 4-0 victory over the visiting Oklahoma City FC applied pressure to OKC, the team that entered the night leading Laredo by two points for second place.

Laredo’s battle with the already eliminated Patriots saw OKC fall into third with Laredo’s win, while Laredo also holds a game in hand with two left to play – on the road at El Paso and Midland-Odessa. Oklahoma City only plays the Houston Dutch Lions at home.

Laredo stands in second, clear by two points, at 24 points with an 8-2-3 record. OKC is 7-4-2 with 23 points.

With maximum points, Laredo could win both its remaining games for six points, while OKC can pick up no more than three against the eliminated Dutch Lions.

The first 70 minutes of the Heat’s hosting of El Paso was rather pedestrian, with neither team scoring, despite an evenly taken four shots apiece.

The only action on the scoresheet was an accumulation of cautionary bookings.

El Paso’s Eric Hernandez and George Lara received yellow cards in the 16th and 18th minutes, respectively.

El Paso’s Naoyas Aizawa saw a red card in the 86th minute.

Laredo was cards fly against Yair Hernandez, Vcmor Eligwe, Camilo Botero and Gabriel Muniz in the match.

Saturday night was Laredo’s home finale, a match in which it celebrated its 10th annual donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

At half time, Heat owners Shashi and Priya Vaswani and general manager J.J. Vela awarded 4-year-old Mateo Cavazos a trip to New York City next month to watch a game between his favorite team, the New York Yankees take on the Toronto Blue Jays.

Cavazos was diagnosed with a blood disease as an infant, and in June he was cleared as a long-term survivor after years of treatment.