Lopez nets game-winner for Lane
Updated: October 15, 2011 6:06PM
Tony Lopez wanted another chance at Mather.
He got his wish. The Lane defender scored two goals, including the game-winner on a penalty kick in the 27th minute of the second half, as the host Indians edged Curie 2-1 in the second semifinal of the Public League soccer tournament Wednesday night.
The victory propels the Indians into the city final against top-seed Mather Saturday at the University of Chicago.
“I wasn’t able to play we played in conference, and this is a huge deal for me, just knowing we have the chance to get some revenge,” Lopez said.
His score off a free kick put the Indians (13-7-1) up 1-0 at the break. The score held up until the 20th minute of the second half when Eric Gonzalez, the hero of the Condors’ quarterfinal victory over Kelly, answered with a blast in the box that forged a 1-all tie.
Seven minutes later, Lopez gave Lane the go-ahead score. The penalty kick was set up after a Lane player was tripped from behind in the box. Lopez calmly approached the penalty kick and drilled a shot into the right side.
“Whenever I’m shooting penalties, I never try to think about it too much,” he said. “I just decide where I’m going to go with it and I stick with my decision.
“That’s what I did.”
Lane survived a furious Curie rally in the closing five minutes. Keeper Zorohn Reed made two spectacular saves to preserve the victory.
“They were going all offense out at that point,” Reed said. “They were fighting for their lives, and they didn’t want their season to end. I knew I had a good defense and they helped me out.”
The title game is a rematch of the 2008 final, where the Indians defeated Mather 5-0. More important to the Indians, they must deal with an explosive Rangers team that beat them 4-0 during the regular season.
“It was tied 0-0 at half, and Qudus Lawal scored three goals in four minutes,” Lane coach Andrew Ricks said.
“We know who their main offensive players are and who we have to check [defensively],” Lopez said. “We’re coming out ready to play.”