Santa Fe of the Avondale soccer league built a threegoal first-half lead and held on for a 4-1 win over Fas, from Phoenix, to win the Phoenix region of the Copa Tecate tournament at El Gran Mercado on Sunday in Phoenix.
With the win, Santa Fe advances to the western regional, to be played July 28 in Sacramento, Calif. The team that wins the west will face the east winner in the Copa Tecate final in Dallas.
“It was like a cushion, to give the guys confidence,” said Avondale soccer league president Samuel Pena of the early goals for Santa Fe. “They got confident after the first goal. Any time you can go up on an opponent like that, you’ve got to feel comfortable. Especially when it’s 3-0.”
Santa Fe got on the board within the first ten minutes with a goal by Enrique Gomez. Within the next ten minutes, the Santa Fe club increased its lead with a header goal by Daniel Garfio.
In the final minute of the first half, forward Ivan Tuerl gave the Santa Fe club a scare, scoring the team’s third goal on a diving header. As he hurled toward the net, he hit the left post.
He returned to the field, however, and scored the only goal of the second half.
Fas defeated Nacional and Santa Fe defeated Leon earlier on Sunday to set up the the final. Gomez was displeased with the scheduling, putting the teams on the field twice on a single hot day.
“The tournament is the best,” Gomez said, “but why play two times on the same day?”