Boys soccer: Last minute magic leads to 1-1 tie


unior Bobak Ohadi carries sophomore Baris Demirlioglu after scoring the game-tying score within the last minute of the game. With Photo by Rachel Lu

Rachel Lu

Junior Bobak Ohadi carries junior Baris Demirlioglu after scoring the game-tying score within the last minute of the game. With Photo by Rachel Lu
Los Gatos has been having a strong season with seven wins in seven league games. A perfect 7-0-0 record, Los Gatos was looking to add on another win to their perfect record on Feb. 1. The Matadors had other plans.Down 0-1 with one minute left in the game, senior Clayton Pugh had one final chance with a free kick. Pugh shot the ball to the net as everyone crowded around the box. A second later, the ball was headed in the goal. Beating everyone else on the field, junior Baris Demirlioglu managed to get the tying goal.“At that last ball, I saw it coming and I just headed it,” Demirlioglu said. “Next thing I saw it was in the goal.”In the first part of the half, the Wildcats were able to apply more offensive pressure with more possession time. The Wildcats had a perfect opportunity to take the early lead when the Los Gatos forwards were able to beat the back line on a breakaway. After a first shot on goal that deflected off the goalkeeper, the Wildcats immediately shot the rebound only to hit the right post.

By the end of the first half, the game was still tied 0-0.

Both teams continued to play evenly, with both defenses not allowing the other team to get good opportunities. The tie was finally broken when Pugh tried to cut off the pass as the Wildcats were passing the ball mid-field. Pugh was unable to stop it and the Wildcats had a perfect opportunity to pass the ball back into the box to get past goalkeeper junior Brian Nordby.

““We usually get down [when they score], but this game we were really motivated,” Demirlioglu said. “We became even more pumped up.”

The sense of urgency rose with only twenty minutes left. The Matadors continued to try but were unable to get past the Cats‘ defense. Senior Taichi Sano had a good chance to tie the game with a pass into the box, but Sano‘s shot went wide.

With one minute left, head coach Pooya Hajjarian put all his forwards on the field to try to get the goal. The Matadors were able to get past the defense leading to a Matador free kick between the box and the midfield.

Hajjarian pulled Nordby from goal and put him in front of the other net with the rest of the team. The Matadors were hoping for a tip in front of the net to deflect in. Pugh shot the free kick to the front of the net. In the mass of players in front of the net, Demirlioglu beat all the players on the field to head the ball past the Wildcats goalie.

“Somehow it was perfect for us. It landed on Baris’ head and went into the goal and then I lost my voice,” Hajjarian said.

The players on bench jumped out of their seats in disbelief as the players on the field jumped on Demirlioglu.

“I feel like we won. I know the score shows that we tied, but i feel like that was a win for our team,” Hajjarian said, “this is the first time that any team has been able to stop these guys, so I feel good.”

Previously, the Matadors had lost to Los Gatos 1-0. The Matadors came in shorthanded looking to beat the first place Wildcats with senior Aaron Ho and junior Bobak Ohadi out because of a red card in the Jan. 27 game against Lynbrook. Sophomore William Major was out because of an ankle injury.

The next home game will be on Feb. 10 against Santa Clara.

Correction at 8:31 PM on Feb. 6: The grade Baris Demirlioglu is in was misstated.