When Delhi and Denair High soccer teams met earlier in the season, it was a grudge match that ended with a 1-0 win for the Hawks in the Southern Athletic League competition. This time, Delhi traveled to Denair and came out victorious once again, but by a larger margin.
After taking it to the Coyotes from the start, the Hawks were able to tack on three first half goals that led to a 5-0 shutout over the SAL rivals.
“This time we were able to take advantage of the chances that we got and we were able to connect and put the ball in the back of the net,” Delhi head coach Armando Salazar said. “Last time we hit the crossbar, we hit the sidebar, we hit goalie and everything, we just couldn’t put it in; but this time the kids were able to pass the ball a lot more consistent.”
In the opening minutes, Ismael Udave struck the back of the net for the first goal that was followed by a Mario Moran slam moments later. In the closing seconds of the first, Moran was able to tack on the third goal after a ball deflected off the goalkeeper’s chest in the air, giving Moran just enough time to tap it in and take a 3-0 lead into the half.
Quentin Allen, one of Denair’s two seniors that were playing, was a spark up front for the Coyotes, however, he was unable to find the back of the net on three shots on goal in the first.
“This time we lost some guys to grades and others due to injuries; last time we went there they had some great opportunities, but luckily our goalkeeper did really well, this time they just finished,” Denair coach Paul Oei said. “You can’t discredit my guys though; they played hard the whole time. Hopefully, the last week we will come back and get a win. The effort was there but Delhi is just a better, more experienced team.”
It was Delhi who continued its excellent ball handling skills along with controlling the game and pace as the Hawks managed to hold off the ball in their half the majority of the second.
Halfway through the second, Udave threaded a beautiful cross to Erik Agular who was able to net it in for the fourth. With only 10 minutes left in the game, Agular was able to strike the fifth and final goal of the contest.
“It seemed that the kids are getting more used to playing with each other,” Salazar said. “I hope the way we played today (Wednesday), we continue to play for the remainder of the season. I was really happy with the kids talking to each other and playing the passing ball instead of trying to just take the ball over the defender.”
With a young squad and only four games left, Denair knows its postseason hopes are done.
“This year coming in we only had three seniors. It is a very young team so I am hoping to get everybody back next year and start earlier so we can have a better start next season and the kids are already gelling,” Oei said.
With only four games left for each team Delhi will start at 4 p.m. Monday as they host Waterford High. Denair will travel to Le Grand and begin at 4 p.m. Monday.