ECNL ARIZONA DAY 1 RECAP: BRINGING THE HEAT
Bringing The Heat
The game started off with both Heat and Crossfire Premier feeling each other out and settling into the contest. However, that period quickly came to a close, as Heat jumped out to a 1-0 lead.
Less than 15 minutes into the game, Edison Yuen had the ball near the touchline, when he lofted a pass over the back line, where Alberto Perez was waiting to receive the pass. He corralled the pass, cut inside and then rifled a shot into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
Heat FC continued to press through much of the first half, but Crossfire Premier routinely countered, and by doing so, slowly tilted the field in their favor. In the 31st minute, Crossfire Premier gained the equalizer.
With the Crossfire Premier attack, the Heat FC goalkeeper was forced to make tough saves. A rebound came out of the box, where Yuta Banishky hit a stunner into the top right corner of the net to even the contest at 1-1.
The two teams rounded out the half without a score, but then just two minutes into the second frame, Heat FC regained the lead.
Heat FC worked the ball out wide, where it eventually went to the feet of Chad Endozo, who crossed the ball to Dominic Guanuna for an easy tap-in and 2-1 lead.
Crossfire Premier continued to push forward, looking for another equalizer when in the 70th minute they were able to draw even once again, thanks to an own goal by Perez.
“That was disappointing,” Perez said. “It was just a miscommunication, but something that definitely could have been avoided.”
Even though the goal evened the game, Perez wasn’t about to let that mistake determine the final score.
Just three minutes after his own goal, Perez raced into the box, darting for the back post. A service went up into the air, and he managed to get his head on the pass and knock it into the net, giving Heat FC a 3-2 lead with his second of the game.
Five minutes following the go-ahead tally, Heat FC was outside of the box, setting up Perez with a chance to ice the game. He calmly stepped up to the spot and fired his shot. It clipped part of the wall and curled into the top left corner.
“It felt great to bounce back and get the result we felt we deserved,” Perez said. “It felt good to be involved on the scoresheet, but that’s really not my first priority, it’s the team. The important thing is we got the win.”
Minutes later, the final whistle blew, and Heat FC walked away with a 4-2 victory. It was a big win for the club against a quality opponent, and begins their weekend on the right foot. Now, it’s about building off that success and following through for the rest of ECNL Arizona.
“We don’t want to lose this weekend,” Perez said. “We already got one win, and we want at least one more. Two more would be great. But no losses.”
To view all ECNL Arizona scores and the full schedule, click here.