On Saturday, Red Bull Arena hosted a high school soccer doubleheader between the boys’ and girls’ teams of local rivals Harrison High School and Kearny High School. Kearny took the victory in both contests, with the girls earning a 7-0 victory while the boys came back from a one-goal deficit to defeat Harrison 2-1.
The first half of the boys’ game was an even affair, with both teams trading possession and goal scoring chances. Kearny goalkeeper Tyler Anderson came up huge to keep the game scoreless in the 12th minute, stopping and controlling a long-range effort from Leandro Gonzalez. Two minutes later, Kearny nearly took the advantage. But Andres Pesantez’s chip shot from close range just missed the far post.
The teams traded goals back to back in the second half. In the 60th minute, Harrison took the lead when captain Joao Conceicao unleashed a right-footed shot from just outside of the penalty area, and the ball just eluded a diving Anderson. But Harrison’s lead would not last long, as on the ensuing kickoff, Kearny’s Almir Batista took a shot from the midfield stripe, catching Harrison off guard. The ball sailed all the way into the net, and the teams were back where they started.
With just over a minute remaining in regulation and the game looking headed for overtime, Kearny scored the winning goal. In the middle of the field, Batista sent a ball to the left side to Abdellah Bouzidi, who crossed the ball across the goalmouth. Alejandro Dianes got on the end of the ball and poked it in with the outside of his foot, giving the Kardinals the victory.
The day started with a battle between the girls’ teams. Kearny took the lead after seven minutes on a goal by Melissa Pineda, and ten minutes later, Catherine O’Neill doubled the Kardinals lead with her first goal of the game. Pineda and O’Neill would both go on to have multiple-goal games as Kearny defeated Harrison by a 7-0 score.