February 23, 2010

Gauchos Defeat Mexico U-20 Team in Thrilling Shootout

Feb. 23, 2010

Santa Barbara, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team defeated the Mexico U-20 Men's National Team in a shootout Tuesday night at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.

The exhibition game was played in front of several hundred passionate fans, with portions of the gate receipts going towards Haiti relief efforts. The crowd was rewarded with an action-packed, physical soccer game.

Luis Silva put the Gauchos on the board first with three minutes left in the first half, and UCSB held the lead through most of the game.

It looked like one goal was going to be enough, especially when Gaucho goalkeeper David Flores made a great save on a shot from 15 feet away with 39 minutes left in the game.

Mexico's Edson Rivera drew a red card for throwing an elbow to the face of Rob Hoyle with 36 minutes left in the second half. UCSB played with a one man advantage until Danny Barrera was given his second yellow card and ejected with 24 minutes left in the game.

Mexico caught a break when the ball went off Peter McGlynn into his own goal, tying the game at 1 with 16 minutes left to play.

The physical play continued for the remainder of the game, which saw four yellow cards and two red cards, but no more goals were scored.

The exhibition game went to a shootout to determine a winner, and both teams made their first four shots. After goalies David Flores and Diego Avila each made a stop, Joe Eubanks scored to give UCSB a 6-5 lead.

Flores denied Mexico's Omar Salgado to end the game in front of a crowd that had been on its feet since the game was tied 1-1.

The Mexican U-20 National Team's game at UCSB is part of a five-match tour of California aimed at raising money for the people of Haiti and raising awareness of their plight. Additional games will take place in San Jose, Los Angeles, Santa Maria, and Lancaster. The Mexico roster is comprised of players from First and Second Division Professional teams.

In addition to the gate receipts benefiting Haiti relief, the Red Cross was on hand at the match to accept donations of bottled water.

This game marks the second time that UCSB has faced a Mexican National Team in the last six months as the Gauchos took on the Mexico U-17 team this past fall. During the Sept. 22 game, UCSB posted a thrilling 2-1 victory in front of 8,452 fans.

In April, the Gauchos will play host to New Mexico on Friday, April 9 at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, April 24, they will host their annual Alumni Game at 1 p.m.

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