Imperial Tigers Win Desert Cup Over the Holtville Vikings

Imperial’s Ramon Vizcarra (#1), goalie for the Tigers, prepares to kick the ball.

HOLTVILLE — The Holtville Vikings hosted the Imperial Tigers for the Desert Cup soccer match up Friday night that ended in a penalty shoot out for this year’s trophy.

With both teams trading scores back and forth in each half of the match, the conference ended in a tie. Following the final whistle, teams gathered at the center of the field to go head to head in penalty kicks for the Desert Cup. Imperial, for the second year, will take home the trophy, after beating the Vikings with a 3-2 score.

The game began with the Tigers finding room to breath by scoring a quick goal within the first five minutes of play by Daniel Minjarez (#17) striking the ball into the back of the net.

Going through the first half, the Vikings found an equalizer late in the game as Saul Sanchez (#9) connected with the ball after bouncing around in the middle of the field. The Tigers and Vikings went into the half with a one all score and a new game to prepare for.

Starting the second half, the Tigers pressed forward passing the ball up the field to Ismael Garcia (#11) who went for a successful attempt at the goal, allowing the Tigers to take back their one point lead.

With the Vikings unable to make an attempt on a second chance, Luis Estrada (#7) took advantage of a free play, kicking one hard into the net, once again tying up the game.

As the regular game ended in a tie, the Imperial and Holtville teams will mark this game as a tie, but they went to penalty shots to determine the winner of this year’s Desert Cup trophy.

Following the shoot out, Imperial ended up with three successful shots, while Holtville only managed two, giving the Tigers rights to the Desert Cup.This is the second year in a row the Tigers have brought home the Desert Cup.

Counts on blocks following the second shots had Imperial’s goalie Ramon Vizcarra (#1) with a total of 14 accumulated throughout the evening, along with his three blocks in the penalty shoot out. For Vizcarra’s service on the field, he was named best player by the Tigers.

“It was a hard-fought match that we could not give up in,” said Imperial’s Head Coach Marco Aguilera. “We just had to keep playing our game that we’ve practiced to bring home the Desert Cup.”