MANY CHANCES CREATED “The positive is that we created that many chances and it is something we can work on. Creating the chances and having persons in the position to score is a good sign, and we want to continue building on that,” he added. The Boyz started shakily but came into their own after 15 minutes and had excellent chances, the best of which fell to Treyvonne Reid, Nickque Daley, and Kaheem Parris. Cuba also had a couple good opportunities, but good defending kept them at bay. Early in the second half, a mix-up in defence resulted in a Cuban player being brought down in the box, and Rodan netted the spot kick to put the Cubans in front. However, after wasting a number of great opportunities in the second half, they eventually got the equaliser when the ball fell to McIntosh, who calmly slotted past the excellent Danny Eduardo in goal. “We expected a tough game. Both teams had control of the ball at different intervals. They both got chances, so the 1-1 score is a good result for both teams,” said Cuba coach Rufino Sotolongo. Jamaica’s under-17 men’s football team had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Cuba in the first of their two friendlies at Winchester Park yesterday. Ribaldo Roldan put Cuba ahead from the penalty spot eight minutes into the second half, but Ricardo McIntosh cancelled that effort with a composed finish on 70 minutes. In what was a fairly competitive contest, the young Boyz were clearly the better team over the 90 minutes and had more and better chances to win the game. Coach Andrew Edwards was pleased with the number of chances the team created but thought their decision making and finishing needs more work if they are to advance from their group of death, which consists of USA, Mexico, and El Salvador in the CONCACAF final round. “I have mixed feelings about the game,” Edwards said. “In the first period, we had problems coming out of the back. We were not smooth and fluid as the defenders were not having good connection with the midfielders to ensure a smooth transition into the attacking third. “But we created nine chances in the first period and put away zero, and that is a major cause for concern. It doesn’t matter how good an opponent is, if you are creating chances and put away these chances, you are going to increase your confidence. But our decision making was not at the level we expect,” he continued. However, he says that creating chances is a positive, and they will have to improve on that for the next game on Tuesday.
La Serna High School had all of those, some of them in multiples, in a 33-31 loss to Gahr last Friday night, and some were more obvious than others. Coach Ken LaVigne is here to tell you that no one player is responsible for the loss, and then he lists some of the Lancers’ mistakes. “We need to retool, get really serious about everything we’re going (offensively),’ LaVigne said. “Too missed opportunities, too many mistakes. We need to take care of them.’ Both coaches agree that A.J. Toscano’s fumble recovery and 26- yard return was the turning point in El Rancho’s 27-7 nonleague victory over visiting Montebello last Friday night. Actually, Toscano stole the ball from Oilers running back James Rangel, who got lost in the crowd at the El Rancho 1-yard line. The play began third-and-goal from the Dons 3, and when Toscano came out of the pileup with the ball, it was a race the other way. A 15-yard personal foul was tacked on to the run and five plays later, including a 29-yard against- the-grain run by Toscano, Mike Perez picked his way into the end zone from 8 yards away to break a 7-7 tie with 28.1 seconds left in the third quarter. El Rancho scored twice more in the fourth quarter against a team that obviously had its momentum taken away. “Yes, I think (Toscano’s) play was the turning point,’ Montebello coach Nishil Shaw said. “It took a lot out of our kids. They had played very hard to stay in the game, and had earned a chance to score.’ Actually, it was the second chance within about four minutes in which the Oilers came away without points. That possession was set up when Gilbert Cerda forced Mike Perea to fumble and Richard Montelongo recovered at the El Rancho 42. After a first down, quarterback Rene Cerda combined with Roy Anthony Perez on a 42-yard pass play for a first- and-goal at the El Rancho 3-yard line. Three plays later, Toscano stole the ball. Montebello’s previous possession began after the defense forced a punt. Four plays later, beginning with Rangel’s 29-yard run, the Oilers had to settle for a 26-yard field goal attempt that was wide left. Included in that defensive series was a huge stop by Toscano, playing linebacker, who drove a blocker back into Rangel and made the stop for a yard loss on second-and-9. “We started off playing well, and we had some chances,’ Shaw said. We had that blocked punt (by Victor Hernandez and recovered by Joey Rosales at the ER 5), and then (four plays later) went in to score. “We did some good things and had some chances, but this is a young team and we made some mistakes. The big thin now is whether these young players can rebound from the loss.’ — Roger Murray can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3046, or by e-mail at roger.murray 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “We had five fumbles in the game, four of them in the first half,’ LaVigne said. “We had four holding penalties, all in the first half. We had an interception returned for a touchdown in the first half.’ His team trailed, 20-3, at halftime when LaVigne said he told his players to not worry about the scoreboard, and they responded by winning the second half 28-13. The difference in the final score was a missed 37-yard field goal with 25 seconds to play, but LaVigne emphasized that wasn’t the difference in the game. “We’re not laying this (loss) on anybody,’ LaVigne said. “We had such a horrible first half, and then the kids made such a great comeback and were able to challenge them in the second half. Our defense played well again. They had the one back that got 125 yards, but 70 of them came on one play. The rest of the time we held him pretty much in check.’ La Serna (2-1) travels to play El Monte on Friday night. As is usually the case when a team wins or loses by a point or two, the first reaction is to look for the single most glaring occurrence that impacted the result. Like a missed field goal. Or a fumble. Or an interception. or penalties.