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Heat Cook Houston With 4 Goals

Heat Cook Houston With 4 Goals

Laredo claims 2nd place with impact win

 

LAREDO, Texas – With a chance to seize second place in the Mid-South Division, the Laredo Heat shattered their scoring drought with a demonstrative, 4-0, victory over the Houston Dutch Lions on Tuesday at the Texas A&M International Soccer Complex. Both teams entered tied for third in the Mid-South with five points, having met twice already this season – a 1-1 draw on May 17 and a 1-0 Houston win on May 21.

Felix Garcia, a native Laredoan, scored a brace for his first goals of the season, joining Yair Hernandez and Juan de Dios Ibarra on the score sheet.

The third meeting between the two featured familiar phenomena’s, as the Heat (2-1-2, 8 points) couldn’t score despite quick and constant chances. Laredo’s lopsided offensive produced a 13th minute penalty kick when Dutch Lions goalkeeper Charles Schober rode Hernandez down inside the 18-yard box. Ibarra lined up the spot kick, firing low but into Schober’s gloves.

Despite Laredo’s misfire, the Heat applied their constant pressure. Ibarra was gifted another chance – which he buried – just three minutes later off an assist by Hernandez. Local product Daniel Garza founded the play, streaking the far touchline before crossing a pass in front of the goal’s mouth, with Hernandez centering it for Ibarra’s point-blank push in.

A familiar scenario struck in the 38th minute when Hernandez was again fouled to the ground for another penalty kick. This time, Garcia lined it up and opted to fire to high right – but Schober again guessed right for the save.

Garcia made up for his miss in the 47th minute, flicking a finely touched strike off a Salvador “Chava” Luna assist. His one-touch toe jab pushed Laredo to 2-0.

Hernandez tripled the Heat’s goal total on the night in the 60th minute, volleying home a ping-ponging rebound after Schober pawed two saves in immediate succession. Hernandez left-footed the strike from inside the 6-yard box for his first goal of the Premier Development League campaign.

Laredo punched its final punctuation into the net in the 71st minute when Garcia launched a corner kick delivery into the top of the net. With his two goals, he sits level with Esteban Bayona as the Heat’s leading scorer in league play.

A goalkeeper change from Jorge Ortega to William Lukowski in the 81st minute led way for a clean sheet combination. The Heat blasted 19 shots on Schober, forcing the second-choice keeper – acting in the stead of Emmanuel “Bebo” Frias, who served a red card suspension – to make five saves. The Dutch Lions shot only five times, forcing Ortega to glove a trio of saves. Lukowski was never tested.

The Heat claimed second place from the Mississippi Brilla (2-1-1, 7 points), who were idle on Tuesday but face the division-leading Austin Aztex (4-0-0, 12 points) on Thursday. Houston falls to fourth in the table, with a 1-3-2 (5 points) record.

The Heat face Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo on June 11 at 9 p.m. at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at BBVA Compass Stadium. Tuesday saw the draw for the fifth round, as the winner of the Dynamo-Heat match up will host the winner between FC Dallas (MLS) and the San Antonio Scorpions (North American Soccer League).

Those matches will be streamed live and for free at www.YouTube.com/LaredoHeatSC at 8:10 p.m (PDL) and 8:55 p.m. (Open Cup).

Each home game will see the Heat offer four fans a chance at winning $500. If the randomly selected fans can bury an undefended penalty kick at halftime, they will win $400 for themselves and $100 to the evening’s selected benefactor.