Shipyard #2 takes over top spot in summer league

Shipyard #2 striker Liko Oliveira (green shirt) gets ahead of three CG United defenders to head in the game-winning shot.

Shipyard #2 striker Liko Oliveira (green shirt) gets ahead of three CG United defenders to head in the game-winning shot.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

The anticipated showdown between the final two undefeated teams in the Summer Soccer League was everything that fans expected and then some.

Not only was the matchup a nail-biter from whistle to whistle, but also the game ended on a spectacular throw-in and header for the go-ahead goal as time expired.

The win placed Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard #2 in sole possession of first place with a perfect record of 4-0, while Coast Guard United (CG United) fell for the first time this season and is now one game in back of Shipyard #2 with a record of 3-1.

“This is an awesome feeling because it’s been awhile since I was part of a good team,” said Liko Oliveira, a Department of Defense civilian, who scored the game-winning goal. “It’s a good feeling right now, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

Way before Oliveira made the winning score, the battle was on as both teams tried their best to work their way to the goal.

Finally midway through the first half, Sgt. Billy Emory took control of the ball and quickly made his way up the left sideline.

Once Emory broke in front of the pack, only the goalkeeper stood in his way and the CG United striker took full advantage of the opportunity.

Emory got the ball as close to the goal as possible, before booting in a perfect kick to the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

“I had a breakaway and I was about 10 to 15 yards away from the closest defender,” Emory said. “I just relied on my speed and cut it in. I took my first steps to goal and it gave me a better angle to take that shot. I just kept it low, hoping the keeper was going to think that I was going to keep it high. He fell kind of slow and the ball went in.”

The tough duel continued through the first half and when the teams took a break for half-time, CG United hung on to their place in the lead at 1-0.

As the game progressed through the second half, it was Shipyard #2 that was doing most of the attacking.

With the ball spending most of its time on the CG United side of the field, Shipyard #2 finally broke through, when Scott Kawamura, a Department of Defense civilian, knocked in a pointblank shot on a header to tie the score up at 1-1.

“Well, the ball was thrown in pretty hard, so all I had to do was deflect it,” Kawamura said about his goal. “It’s good. It definitely boosted our morale.”

With about 20 minutes still left in the game, it was apparent that Shipyard #2 had momentum going their way.

Emory said that as hard as he and his teammates tried to stop Shipyard #2 from advancing, it was getting more and more difficult with each passing minute.

“Up until this game, we had a lot more subs,” Emory said. “Unfortunately, today, we had just enough people to man the field. We had nine players and I think we just got a bit tired toward the end.”

Down into the final minute of play, Shipyard #2 was back applying pressure on the CG United side of the field.

With only seconds ticking on game clock, Kawamura got the ball on the right sideline facing the goal.

O n t h e i n b o u n d p a s s , Kawamura sailed the ball high and toward the goal in the vicinity of Oliveira.

Without a second to spare, Oliveira reached up and headed the ball into the goal for the game-winning shot.

“Our intensity was really up there in the second half,” Oliveira said. “We knew we are a really good team and we weren’t showing it in the first half. I missed my last shot on a breakaway, so I really wanted this. I was going to do whatever it took to get it in the goal.”

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Category: Sports