Soccer: Bridgeport takes over first in 3-4A

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, March 1, 2017
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Heads Up Play

HEADS-UP PLAY – Bridgeport’s Efrain DeLuna heads a ball in traffic during the Bulls’ 1-0 win over Decatur Monday to take over first place in District 3-4A. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

In the first meeting at Decatur, Efrain DeLuna booted home a loose ball in the final seconds to net the Bridgeport Bulls a pivotal tie against their rival.

Monday, DeLuna’s mad dash up the field in the second half set up Jesus Aguilar’s goal that put the Bulls atop District 3-4A at the two-thirds mark of the league race with the 1-0 victory.

After going on the attack, DeLuna centered the ball to Milton Iniguez, who found an open Aguilar for the winning goal in the 52nd minute.

“I was trying to make something happen for my team,” DeLuna said. “Eric [Aguilar] found me and I was able to make a run. I saw Milton and he found [Jesus] Aguilar the goal.”

The victory was Bridgeport’s third straight after starting the league with three draws. The Bulls led the district with 11 points. Decatur is second with nine.

DeLuna has played huge role in the Bulls’ recent rise.

“Since the start of district, he’s turned into a warrior for us,” said Bridgeport coach Ben Parks. “His running is really selfless. He’s never been in great shape, but he lays it on the line.

“He and Milton have a great chemistry, and it was a great finish by Jesus. This was really a great team win.”

Bridgeport outshot Decatur 4-1 and controlled possession. With Eric Aguilar patrolling the back line with Giovanni Martinez, the Bulls kept Decatur’s Jaime Prado from making runs.

“We definitely tweaked our lineup,” Parks said. “They had some guys that gave us some trouble last time. Our midfield and the guys up front did a great job controlling the ball. Giovanni and Eric cleaned everything up.”

Prado, who netted a goal in the first meeting, said there was no open space.

“They switched some guys around, and they knew our game plan and shut us down,” Prado said.

“It’s going to be a close game with them every time. We get to see them at home next time.”

Prado did get one chance in the 80th and final minute after a restart. He found a loose ball 15 yards out and fired the ball just wide of the far post.

“I thought it was going in. They made a good play,” Prado said.

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