By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
LINDSAY – With the hopes of making a statement in the Central Section the Cardinals took on the Grizzlies of Central High School last Friday night. Three division up might had been to much for Lindsay, but in a matchup that lacked only one thing they held their own in a 0-0 tie.
“I would have loved to score a couple goals to let everyone in the valley know that we can compete with anyone, but unfortunately that did not happen,” Lindsay head coach Tony Godoy said.
Lindsay (10-1-2) had their chances and early. Within the first 15 minutes of the game both Isidro Espinoza and Marcos Ceballos fired shots on goal. Marcos’ shot came right from the top of the box as he dribbled the ball toward the center of the field. That became a popular spot for the Cardinals as the defense for Central (5-2-4) did not let much inside.
After the two early chances the Grizzlies went on the offense. This time it was the Cardinal defense keeping them in the game. In the 20th minute Central attacked up the middle of the field and seemed to be clear of all Cardinal defenders. That was until Oscar Lira made an adjustment from the right, and was able to knock the ball away. Later in the game Lira saved repealed another Grizzly scoring chance when he headed a ball out of the box.
“He played the game of his life,” Godoy said. “Lira may not be the fastest player on the field, but he is very difficult to get behind.”
As both teams continued to battle for any advantage that the other could get the Grizzlies did something unusual. They switched to a defensive game plan in the second half. Sometimes having only one forward in the Cardinal zone.
“It is tough to strike when you have 11 men behind the ball,” Godoy said.
Although that did not deter the Cardinal attack. Godoy believes that they out possessed the Grizzlies 70-30 percent. It was during this time that Lindsay got their best scoring chance. Halfway through the second half Ulises Lopez attacked the ball up the near side. Almost out of bounds he centered the ball to Julio Godoy in the box. From there Godoy tried to redirect the ball with a header but missed wide right.
The chances for the Cardinals continued but late in the second half they were forced to play with ten men. Angel Camacho already had one yellow card, but late in the game he acquired his second when he took down a Grizzly forward. The infraction gave him a red card.
The scoreless tie was the Cardinals third game in three weeks and the only that they did not score in let alone win. Earlier in the week they defeated the Farmersville Aztecs, 3-0, to take a one game lead in the Champions Cup, and the Lemoore Tigers 4-2.