Gauchos Rally Past Club América U-20 in Exhibition

Koby Bench (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Koby Bench (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – In the Inaugural Community Shield Match featuring Club América U-20, a professional development team based in Mexico City, the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team rallied for two second half goals to top Las Aguilas 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Harder Stadium. The exhibition match also served as the kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.

Club América came out aggressive offensively and controlled possession in the first half while outshooting the Gauchos 7-2. Still scoreless in the 44th minute, Club América first teamer Ricardo Marin recorded the first goal of the match with a left-footed shot to the right corner of the goal past the UCSB keeper.

UCSB did not wait long to answer with the equalizer, as Derek Kryzda, a Mexico City native, found the back of the net in the 47th minute. Adam Ek sent a corner kick into the box and the ball bounced around before landing at the feet of Kryzda, who found an opening on the right side for a goal.

The match seemed destined for penalty kicks upon the conclusion of 90 minutes of play, but the Gauchos created an opportunity out of thin air with just minutes remaining for the game-winner. Ignacio Tellechea came up with the ball at the top of the box after a Club América miscue and found a wide open Koby Bench in front of the goal for an easy score.

Despite being outshot 14-7 and edged on corner kicks 6-2, the Gauchos made the most of their chances to come away with the win.

Kryzda led UCSB with two shots and Ivan Moreno tallied a game-high four shots for Club América.

The Gauchos return to regular season action on Saturday, Sept. 23 against Portland at 7:00 p.m. at Harder Stadium.

Season tickets and individual game tickets are available online here or call the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at 805-893-UCSB (8272).