Broncos advance to consolation soccer championship
IDAHO FALLS — On Thursday, the defending 4A state champion Blackfoot Broncos went 80 minutes of play without a goal. That rarity spilled over into Friday's loser out contest against Bishop Kelly for 60 minutes of play but in the sixty-first minute, the Blackfoot offense erupted as they tallied a trio of goals in a fifteen minute span leading to a 3-1 victory.
"We have a running joke in England that you wait around for an hour for a bus and then suddenly two arrive at the same time and that's exactly what it felt like," Blackfoot head coach Liam Pope said. "It went through my head, I would be lying to say that it didn't but I'm standing there and I'm looking at Andy and Gordies and Jordan and Berra and Chewy and I'm like, there's so much attacking talent here, how are we not getting any goals?"
Indeed, the soccer gods were unkind to the Broncos as Bishop Kelly converted a rebound shot for a goal just three minutes into the contest while Blackfoot had shot after shot go just wide or off the crossbar leading to a nervous Blackfoot crowd as the deja vu feeling of Thursday began to creep in.
That feeling all went away in the sixty first minute however when Andy Garcia dribbled the ball through the Bishop Kelly defense and then drilled a shot into the goal for the Broncos first goal of the tournament and a 1-1 tie. Less than a minute later it was Everardo Bartolo who found the back of the goal when he blasted a shot just into the far post and as the large Blackfoot crowd celebrated, the Broncos now led 2-1.
"I was worried and then a pair of goals arrived and the world looked better at that time," Coach Pope said. "A lot of people were here watching and supporting us and more than anything I feel that the boys deserved to hear that cheer. Yesterday we didn't play badly, we just didn't score. Today we weren't playing badly, although the goal that we conceded was a bad goal. It was a goal that will make coaches chase after defenders with large metal objects but it was nice to get those two goals and the way that we were attacking, we deserved those goals."
Up a goal the Broncos then turned to their defense as Bishop Kelly turned up their efforts in an attempt to tie the game. Bishop Kelly were affective in their efforts as they put a ton of pressure on the Blackfoot defense that bent but just didn't break as time and time again Ozzy Oseguera made fabulous saves on solid Knight shots.
"Bishop Kelly were a threat up front which made me nervous," Coach Pope said. "The shot that Bishop Kelly took with three or four minutes later I just don't know how Ozzy got it. As soon as the kid hit it I thought that it was going in and then there was Ozzy with a strong arm around it so there would be no follow ups."
Blackfoot added an insurance goal just moments after the big save by Oseguera when Jesus Pelayo placed a perfectly placed crossing pass to a streaking Andy Garcia effectively sealing the game for the Broncos.
Blackfoot (14-2-1) will hit the pitch for the final time in 2012 when they take on Jerome, who beat Century on Friday, for the consolation championship at 10 a.m. at the Idaho Falls soccer complex.