Tigers turn up heat in second half of playoff victory over Dardanelle
GREEN FOREST -- Green Forest overcame a sluggish start to Wednesday's first-round playoff game against Dardanelle, breaking a 2-2 halftime score to win 5-2 with three second-half goals.
With the win, the Tigers (10-1-1) punched their ticket to next week's state tournament and will play again Friday at 5:30 at Subiaco Academy in order to determine seedings for the state tournament.
Santiago Martinez and Treyton Anderson put the Tigers up 2-0 half way through the first period as Green Forest appeared to be cruising to the win. But the Sand Lizards got back-to-back goals in less than a minute from striker Gianluca Brunetto to knot the score at halftime.
"We lost the middle and missed our passes in the first half," Green Forest coach Bradley James said. "We were behind them. It was like we expected them to just give us the ball and let us win. I think we took them too lightly in the first half."
The Tigers played with more intensity in the second half, delivering crisp passes and working the ball from side to side to create scoring opportunities. Pedro Diaz broke the tie with a goal nine minutes into the second half, Anderson added his second goal with 25 minutes left and Rolyn Perez slipped one past the goalie at the 8:28 mark for the final tally.
"I told them at halftime that they had 40 minutes," James said. "Their season is over if they don't come out to play the second half. They stepped up and did a better job as far as possession and moving the ball forward."
Diaz scored on a breakaway after a pass from Anderson while Anderson's second goal of the game was a duplicate of the first off a crossing pass from Perez. Perez was also the instigator of Martinez's first-half goal as he delivered a corner kick into the box for Martinez to head past Dardanelle's goalie and a defender.
Green Forest will visit Subiaco Academy today and continue the tournament Saturday at Harrison's First National Bank Soccer Complex.