Doxa Italia – 5
Botofugo/LA Blues – 2
Coming off a great Coast League win over PSA the night before. Doxa Italia was called into action again against Botofugo/LA Blues in the West LA Simon Bolivar League. Match started off with Doxa taking all of the play and Blues slowing the pace as much as possible. Didn’t work for long when Steve Chirgwin took a pass from Dave Adams and smashed a shot into the upper 90 from 25 yards out in the 10th min. With Doxa clearly controlling the possession the game slowed to a crawl as the Blues had nothing to bring to the match.
A huge problem with the WLA league is the officiating and it needs to be addressed. It can be quite atrocious at times and today’s match was no exception. With both teams paying $100 per game for the refs. The quality should be far superior than what it is. It is absolutely unacceptable and several teams have voiced exactly that. This match was not an exception as blown calls happened against both teams. One (of many) officiating blunders happened when Doxa defender Nate Reeves intercepted a ball and made a run up the right when the Blues forward attempted to slow him down with some contact that could or could not be a call for Doxa. The ref blew the whistle and signaled for a free kick for Blues shocking just about everyone in the stadium. The ensuing free kick was played short and then lifted to the top right of the six yard box, Doxa GK Brian Burdue elected to stay on his line and the big LA Blues forward was able to fend off defender Nasus and head home a goal to even the score 1-1.
The rest of the first half was all Doxa as attack after attack led to chances with Raul Palomares getting possession inside the box several times only to come up empty. End of first half 1-1.
The halftime speech was centered around Burdue not coming off his line during the Blues goal, the many missed chances for Doxa and the slow pace of the match, which is what Blues wanted. The 2nd half would be much different then the first with Doxa dictating the pace. Right from the kickoff a scoring opportunity presented itself when Chirgy knocked the ball to Ryan Taylor who hit a volley just off target. Dave Adams was controlling the midfield a spraying the ball around at will creating many opportunities.
The 2nd goal for Doxa came about 10 min in when Sam Allen pushed the ball up the right side and crossed it to a wide open Eric Meister who one timed it past the Blues keeper.
Blues had an opportunity when the Doxa defense let it’s guard down and a misplaced clearance landed at the feet of the Blues forward who was one v one with Doxa keeper Burdue. With Nate Reeves closing in hard from behind the Blues forward took a touch to the inside at the top of the box. That’s when Burdue came rushing out to close the angle. The forward was able to avoid Burdue but pushed the ball too far wide to create a shot as Nasus was able to close him down and the ball went harmlessly pass the end line for a goal kick.
Doxa created wave after wave of attack. The 3rd goal came when Craig Reynolds knocked a ball cross field from left to right to Ryan Taylor who juked the defender by heading it to himself. The defender was able to catch Ryan but a crafty delay gave Ryan just enough space to beat the keeper at the near post.
The 4th goal came when a Craig Reynolds centering ball was at the perfect pace and height for Ricky Figueroa to attempt a bicycle. Perfectly executed but aimed a tad off target, the bike landed right at the feet of Gabe Valencia who took the ball to the end line and centered it to Derk Droze who smashed home.
The 5th goal was a Doxa defensive clearance that made it’s way to the wide open Derk Droze at the center circle. Derk took off and chipped the keeper from 20 yards out finishing off the Doxa scoring.
Doxa squandered many scoring chances with Gabe Valencia missing several oportunites and Ricky Figueroa hitting yet another one off the post.
Blues did have one more chance when a ball sent over the top leaving the forward one v one with GK Burdue yet again. With Burdue coming out closing the angle, the Blues forward decided to try and bend the ball to the far post. Burdue had read this perfectly and was in full stretch to his left when shot was mis-kicked as the forward kicked the ground during the strike. With the GK fully committed the ball bounced awkwardly over his outstretched legs and into goal giving LA Blues their 2nd of the match.
The final whistle sounded soon after and another victory was had for Doxa Italia.
Doxa Italia has defeated Matadores 5-2 in a previous match and LA Blues/Botofugo 5-2 currently. Matadores are the current champions and Blues are the runner-ups (and previous season’s champs) of the Simon Bolivar WLA League. Though the playoffs are a different beast as both of the teams will most likely have completely different players on their rosters. Such is life in an unaffiliated southern California amatuer soccer league.
1. Brian Burdue
2. Nate Reeves
3. Nas Koubouras
4. Eric Meister
5. Dave Adams
6. Craig Reynolds
7. Raul Palomares
8. Sam Allen
9. Ricky Figueroa
10. Ryan Taylor
11. Steve Chirgwin
12. Derk Droze
13. Gabriel Valencia