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Delhi finishes off Denair after two second half goals
delhi soccer 1
Delhi's Isabel Barbosa and Valerie Pena work together to maintain possession of the ball against their Denair opponents on Wednesday. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

Now is the time that the Delhi girls soccer team can make a playoff push with less than four league contests left, but the Hawks must win out in order to possibly clinch that third and final playoff berth.

Action resumed on Wednesday for the Hawks who traveled to Denair to square off against the Coyotes in a Southern Athletic League clash and it was the Delhi Hawks who would prevail after a much improved performance.

The offense was only able to tally one first half goal, but in the second the Hawks defense came out strong against the Coyotes and two more scores were tacked on as it ended 3-0 in favor of Delhi.

“The game started in our favor, we came out this time and started playing better than previous games,” Delhi head coach Armando Salazar said. “Denair was very good as well, a lot more improved but luckily we kept control of the ball for most of the game and that is how we came ahead.”

After the win Delhi is now 4-4-2 in the SAL. They’ve won three of their last four league contests while Denair (1-8-1) has dropped six straight, allowing two or more goals in each of those contests.

With a critical matchup at stake, Delhi knew they needed to come out ready to go early on, but it wasn’t until halfway through the first half that the stalemate was broken when Amandeep Sandhu dribbled in the penalty area and sliced a crisp pass to Ana Cervantes, who then was able to control a tender pass as it bounced in her favor and she put it in the back of the net to go up 1-0.

With the game at 1-0, Denair stood a chance, but the heavy defensive unit from Delhi proved too much and they controlled the second half from start to finish.

Sandhu would find the back of the net in the second with about 15 minutes left in play as she dribbled and weaved her way through the middle and from about 11 yards out shot it at the left corner for the second goal.

“Our defense was very strong in the second and the girls played well from what I saw,” Salazar said. ‘They passed the ball a little better and didn’t just kick it out. They controlled it and passed it and that helped.”

Just a few minutes after Brianna Sousa scored, Cervantes laid a perfect pass down, dribbled forward, shot once, but was blocked and then got it right back and was able to notch the third goal after a second chance to top it out at three nil.

“I am proud of the girls. I am looking at to where started and where we are now, and they have done very good. It shows if they have commitment to play and do their best they can do something. They came out and played well,” said Salazar.

The following game against third place Waterford will prove to be critical for the Hawks, who look to continue the win streak in hopes of capturing that third and final postseason spot. The game is at 4 p.m. Friday at Delhi.

“If we can beat Waterford and Gustine and win out then we might have a chance to make the playoffs, but depends on how Waterford, but depends how they do also,” said Salazar when asked about their postseason hopes this year.

The Coyotes play against SAL foe Le Grand at 4 p.m. Friday at Le Grand.