What started out as a seemingly harmless rush in the final minute of the first half Tuesday ended up being a game-changer for Argo.
Geraldo Flores carried the ball towards the Richards goal and slipped a pass to Matt Sulamc, who fired a shot that deflected off a Richards defender and in to give the Argonauts a 2-1 halftime lead.
“I think that goal definitely sparked us,” Sulamc said. “It definitely gave us something. Then our coach (John Gaytan) gave us a great halftime talk. He really inspired me.”
Argo rode the momentum to two goals early in the second half and rolled to a 6-1 win in a South Suburban Red game in Oak Lawn.
“I think that goal was definitely a turning point,” Gaytan said. “In the first half, one of our former players (Jerry Patino) is on their team and I think that distracted us a bit. We weren’t playing as a team. In the second half, we did.”
Argo (6-3, 2-1) scored twice in the first six minutes of the second half to pull away from the Bulldogs (3-1, 2-1). Michal Sziachta helped create both goals.
Sziachta rushed down the left side of the field on a counter-attack and sent a pass to the middle of the box, where Antonio Martinez finished for a 3-1 lead with 35:45 to go.
Less than two minutes later, Sziachta found the net himself on a laser.
“We wanted to come out and put a lot more pressure on their defense in the second half,” Sziachta said. “We just kept on attacking.”
Sulamc added his second goal and Leonardo Ochoa capped the scoring for the Argonauts. Marco Soto made three saves.
“The way we played in the second half is the way we should always be playing,” Gaytan said. “If we stay consistent, we’ll have a chance at being near the top of the conference.”
Richards’ goal came when Hussain Sadeq slipped a pass to Sami Ahmed, who got behind the defense and finished.
Despite suffering their first loss, it’s been a strong start to the season for the Bulldogs, who won two games all of last season.
“We’re on the up-tick hopefully,” Richards coach Dan Scanlan said.
“Every team we’re going to play is tough. We’ve won some close games so far and hopefully we can keep doing that as the season goes on.”