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Heat lose against Mississippi

Heat lose against Mississippi

Second half rout

By Zach Smith
Laredo Morning Times

After winning the first matchup of a crucial two-game series in Mississippi, the Heat followed it up with a disappointing 4-0 loss to the Brilla Saturday night.

Laredo played well for the most part in the first period but Mississippi took control after halftime scoring four unanswered goals without much resistance. The 4-0 loss ties the Heat’s worst defeat in franchise history for the second time this season.

The Heat (2-3-2, 1-2-2 Mid-South Division) beat Mississippi 2-1 Saturday night to inch ahead of the Brilla in the Mid-South division early on. The loss means the Heat and Brilla are tied for second place and puts Laredo five points behind league-leading Midland.

The game was more back and forth from the onset than the first game of the series. While Mississippi had more chances in the first 45 minutes, Laredo was more surgical with its opportunities even though they were few and far between.

Heat goalkeeper Jorge Ortega had another solid first half between the pipes. He made four saves and was helped by the crossbar twice in the first 45-minute period.

Leon Taylor hit the Mississippi wall with a free kick from 30 yards out and found forward Dan Johns with a cross. However, his shot didn’t have enough juice on it to get past the keeper.

The intensity that started when the two teams played one and a half games in Laredo last month continued.

Both benches cleared after a hard tackle in front of the Heat, as captain Yair Hernandez was the only player to get a card.

Laredo was the better attacking team in the second part of the half, highlighted by a free kick that forced the Billa goalkeeper into a diving save.

Taylor opened the second half strong for Laredo when he broke down the right side and put a shot just wide of the net. On the ensuing Mississippi attack they put a shot on net that Ortega couldn’t handle, leaving the trailing man with an easy tap in for the first goal of the game. Mississippi doubled the score less than five minutes later when Kellen Gulley scored from a corner kick for a 2-0 lead.

Ortega saved a penalty late in the game Thursday to save three points for the Heat but couldn’t relive the moment after Taylor brought down a Brilla player in the box. Mississippi finished a cross five minutes later for the fourth-goal advantage.

Even with the game basically over, the intense play continued. After a hard challenge, another scuffle broke out and Laredo defender Alan Reyna was shown a red card. He will be suspended for the next game.

Taylor had two more chances near the end. The first didn’t have enough power and was easily corralled by the Brilla keeper and a header off a corner with two minutes left sailed just wide. Laredo had three chances — all from Taylor— in the second half but couldn’t find any luck inside the box.

Laredo travels to Houston for a pair of games on Thursday and Saturday against the Dutch Lions.

They head to Albuquerque for a non-divisional match against the Sol on June 18 before playing their final road game of the season in Midland against the Sockers on June 20. The Heat finish the season with five straight games at home.

Follow @Zach_Smith_ on Twitter for the latest news on the Heat and other local sports.

Email: ZSmith@LMTOnline.com