LYNN — Great defensive play by the Classical boys soccer team helped lead the Rams to a 2-0 victory over English in the Lynn City Soccer Tournament Wednesday night at Manning Field.
The Rams had several great scoring chances, with Wilberth Lopez-Funez and Fernando Gomez scoring in the victory. Alex Ixlaj also had an assist for Classical.
“It was a good win and good to get the shutout,” Classical head coach Eric Moreno said. “Our defense held very well and were disciplined throughout the game. Our formation is pretty attacked base and we have some fast wingers that create opportunities for us on offense.
“We had a lot of chances tonight,” Moreno added. “We missed a penalty kick and had a lot more chances, if not this game could have been a little more secure.”
Despite the loss, English goaltender Cherubin Musangu was terrific in net. Musangu’s night was highlighted by a diving stop on a penalty kick in the first half.
“He’s a first-year player,” English head coach Kerry King said of Musangu. “He is tall, athletic and he really saved us tonight, without him it could have been a lot worse.
“Credit goes to Classical,” King added. “We have a young midfield and I thought they out worked us all night. They did a great job playing possession soccer and I think it wore us out in the midfield. We worried to much about trying to connect long passes and we wore ourselves out chasing the ball. We have to work on being more patient on offense and passing the ball more effectively moving forward.”
The Rams got the first scoring opportunity of the game when they were awarded a penalty kick with 27:26 remaining in the first half. However, English goaltender Cherubin Musangu made a diving save to his right side and deflected the ball with one hand to prevent the goal.
Later in the first half, Ixlaj found himself with a breakaway and drew Musangu out of the net before feeding Lopez-Funez a pass in front of a wide open net. Lopez-Funez finished the play to give Classical the 1-0 lead.
In the second half classical found another scoring opportunity when Lopez-Funez broke through the defense for a breakaway opportunity with Musangu far out of his goal. However the senior goalie made a great sliding save to keep the deficit at one goal.
Musangu made several more great saves to keep the Bulldogs in the game in the second half. However it wasn’t enough, Gomez found an opening in the English defense and netted a goal in the final minutes of play to secure the 2-0 win for the Rams.
Classical will now move on to play in the tournament’s championship game against Tech Saturday (3) at Manning Field.
“It was a great to get a win,” Moreno said. “We’ve done well in the preseason and haven’t lost yet. I’m glad to have a shutout, it’s a great thing and I’m looking forward to the game on Saturday.”