Midland-Odessa FC Sockers (MOFC) advanced to the NPSL South Region semifinals after defeating Shreveport Rafters FC 2-1 last night in the Lonestar Conference finals at Grand Communications Stadium in Midland.
The second goal came from a penalty kick in extra-time that was awarded as a result of a handball in the box in the third minute of added extra-time. Midfielder Isaac Sanchez, who rejoined the team earlier this week, converted the penalty that eventually ended up as the game winner. In the game story in the Midland Reporter-Telegram by Will Korn, Sanchez described his feelings about his contribution to the victory:
“I really wanted to take (the penalty shot) and I was confident and thank God it went in,” Sanchez said. “The keeper was close, but this organization has given me a lot in the past three or four years and this is the way I wanted to give back. It was really special and I’m really humbled. I know a lot of guys are fighting for a place to be here and for me to be called up at the last minute, it means a lot.”
After a scoreless first half, the start of which was delayed 30 minutes by the referees late arrival, MOFC’s Ricardo Palomino opened the scoring in the 51st minute off an assist by Midland-native Darius Strambler. The Rafters Che Walcott scored on a breakaway in the 79th minute to tie the game before the dramatic extra-time winner.
Midland-Odessa now travel to Wichita next Saturday at 7:15 p.m. to play one-loss Wichita FC at Stryker Soccer Complex. Wichita defeated Tulsa Athletic 5-1 in Kansas last night to win the Heartland Conference championship. The winner of that game will play the winner of the Miami Fusion FC vs. Inter Nashville FC game in the South Region Final at the site of the highest remaining seed on July 29.
The link to the Midland Reporter-Telegram’s story by Will Korn (@Will_MRT) is below:
NPSL logo courtesy of ChrisCreamer’sSportsLogos.Net