Thornton Co-op was kicking itself over missed early chances.
Bloom? The Blazing Trojans were upset, too, after coming up empty on some golden opportunities late.
Both teams left Wednesday’s contest in Harvey frustrated, though both took solace in turning in a solid effort in a 0-0 tie.
“We knew coming in it’d be a tough game,” Bloom coach Kelly Gutierrez said. “A lot of our kids play against their kids or with their kids in club. A lot of them know each other. We played a good game and we know we can play against good teams like this. We just have trouble getting into a flow sometimes.”
The defensive performances from both sides were impressive considering both possess a good amount of offensive firepower.
Edgar and Salvador Estrada along with Diego Leon anchored the back line for Thornton (4-3-1) while Marcos Figueroa, Moises Rangel, and Joel and Juan Ruiz led the defense for Bloom (6-3-2).
“Defensively, we looked pretty solid,” Thornton coach David Gonzalez said. “They had a couple good looks, but if they’re shooting from 35 yards out, we’ll take that.
Offensively, we just need to finish. If you can’t put some shots away, you can’t win. We’re headed in the right direction, though.”
The Wildcats came out fast and created some early offense. Perhaps the best chance of the game for either team came three minutes in when Edgar Estrada played the ball ahead to Serjio Lopez, who flicked it forward to Alvin Barjebo, whose shot was denied on a diving save from Jose Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was tested again two minutes later, stopping a Lopez shot.
He finished with three saves in the shutout.
“I knew it’d be a hard game and I was expecting them to come at me from the start,” Rodriguez said. “I was ready for it. Our defense played really well all game. We’ve got a good ‘D’ and Marcos is out there running everything.”
While Thornton was on the attack for much of the first half, Bloom made a strong surge late in the game.
On a free kick from just outside the box, Anthony Aldape sent a cross to Alex Segoviano, who sent a header just wide.
Mark Mendoza and Cross Villagomez each came close in the final minutes as well, firing off the mark.
“We just tried to not let them shoot,” Salvador Estrada said. “We kept clearing the ball and kept them away from our goal as much as possible.”