After opening its season with a pair of wins, Waukegan was stymied 1-0 by Dundee-Crown on Thursday in the semifinals of the eight-team Lake Forest Invitational.
The Chargers will play Carmel for the title on Saturday while Waukegan will face the host Scouts for third place.
“In the game’s first few minutes, we had opportunities to score, and we didn’t do it. We had an opportunity to score on a penalty,” noted Waukegan coach Joe Martinez. “Instead of taking a hard shot he tried to fake the goalie. That’s not the way you take penalty. He knows that.
“The goals that you don’t score end up being scored on you. It’s the mental approach that’s really hurting us.”
On Thursday, the Bulldogs came out sharp. They moved the ball extremely well and should have put one in during the game’s opening minutes.
Jose Becerra had a great opportunity with a header on a corner from Fernando Carreno in the third minute, but couldn’t direct it past Dundee-Crown keeper Jose Gonzalez, who came up with a great save on the play.
Two minutes later, Gonzalez made another good save on a shot from Miguel Zavala, and Manny Montes de Oca put the ball over an open net on a rebound.
A minute after that, Miguel Sancha was tripped in the box giving the Bulldogs a penalty kick. Zavala tried to finesse the ball and Gonzalez came up with the save.
Unable to come up with a goal, the Bulldogs visibly lost their concentration. After having all of the possession early, the Bulldogs allowed Dundee-Crown to get the ball in deep and the Royals scored in the 10th minute when Carlos Ramos buried a cross from Eduardo Arellano.
After halftime, a re-energized Waukegan team tried to stretch the field. They created several good opportunities, but they were physically outmatched to the final touch. With frustration mounting, the Bulldogs tallied four second-half yellow cards.