Valle leads Mats to revenge win over Glendale
The second half has been cruel to the Arizona Western soccer team the past two games. The last time the Matadors played Glendale, it was especially cruel.
Thursday, the last 45 minutes — really the last 18 — were very, very kind.
Arturo Valle scored a pair of goals in the 72nd and 78th minutes to lead AWC to a 2-0 win over Glendale, avenging one of the Matadors' two losses this season.
“We were able to control the game down the stretch and not give away so many chances,” AWC coach Kenny Dale said. “We were really trying to keep possession of the ball.”
The Matadors (10-2 overall and Arizona Community College Athletic Association) broke through with 17:09 left, drawing a yellow card on the far left side of the penalty box on what Dale called a “brave” call by the ref. Valle took the kick, stutter stepped and pushed the kick left past Chris Valentin for the game's first goal.
The Gauchos (8-3-1 overall and ACCAC) won the first meeting with a goal in the 109th minute — just 69 seconds were left on the clock. Valle said the Matadors didn't forget that loss.
“We lost at their place, we knew they were going to try make it happen at this place,” Valle said. “We don't lose at home, and we won.”
In their last two games — a 4-1 loss at Yavapai and a 4-3 win at home against Chandler-Gilbert — the Matadors had surrendered seven second-half goals, six of them coming in the last 20 minutes of the game. But Dale said the team got stronger as the game went on.
“After the last two games, the guys are a little nervous. They are questioning their abilities. You have those crises of confidence every level you play, and you just have to play through those stretches.”
Valle added an insurance goal with 10:12 left, speeding past the defender on a pass from Angel Figueroa then pushing it past a pulled-out Valentin.
“It gave us a lot of confidence,” Valle said of the insurance goal. “We did a good job of keeping possession after that. We played our game and we're happy.”
It was the second game-winning goal for Valle and his ninth and 10th goals of the season.
“He's really silky,” Dale said. “He's got good motion and he uses his body to mislead the opponent very, very well.”
Oscar Hernandez had four saves for the Matadors, who moved within one game of Yavapai for first place in the conference after the Roughriders lost 2-1 to Phoenix.