The confidence of the Boston International boys' soccer team soared after a big win against O'Bryant Tuesday, but the celebration ended with a 3-0 shutout loss to Madison Park at home Wednesday afternoon.
The Lions and Cardinals are two of the top teams in the league, with similar records -- Boston International is 11-2, Madison Park 10-1. With both performing at such a high level, it was clear that the game was not going to be easy.
"I tried hard and played for my team," said Madison Park senior midfielder Edmilson Barros. "The results of this game made the decision of whether we would be the division champions or not. So I had to put my heart in the game, my head in the game, and play tough."
Tensions were high on the field with both teams trying to get closer to the city championship. The Lions and Cardinals possessed the ball equally and defense was being played at its best.
Twenty minutes into the game, Barros scored Madison’s first goal with a clear shot to the middle.
Toward the end of the half, it looked to be Boston International’s time to score. The Lions had possession of the ball and Madison’s keeper, sophomore Joao Rosa, stepped too far out, providing an open goal. But the Lions just couldn’t get the ball into the net.
Rosa was a big part in the shutout, with seven saves.
Boston International freshman Eliseu De Pina also played well, making eight saves.
The second half was even tenser than the first, and it was looking like 1-0 could be the final score. But Barros struck again, as did junior midfielder Emike Peres, both in the last 10 minutes.
"We need to practice more, talk to each other and get better organized," De Pina said.
He hasn’t lost hope for the big city win, however.
"This loss doesn’t mean anything," he said.
Barros believes the Cardinals also have a lot of work to do if they are to take home the title for the third year in a row.
"For the city champs, we’re just going to keep practicing hard," he said. "Every game that we play, we have to play like it’s the finals. We have to play hard, play tough, and play smart."
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