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Chestatee comes from behind to beat Riverside
Chestatee High’s David Gijon, right, and Riverside Military Academy’s Shureed Kabir fight for possession of the ball during the second half of Tuesday afternoon’s match at the Riverside soccer field. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times
GAINESVILLE — The third time proved to be the charm for the Chestatee’s boys soccer team Tuesday at Riverside.

In the War Eagles only two losses this season, to Winder-Barrow and Cartersville, the common thread was an inability to come from behind despite controlling the game and outshooting their opponent.

Chestatee broke that thread when, down 1-0 to the Eagles (3-2) with 25 minutes remaining in the match, the War Eagles (3-2) scored two goals in a six-minute span to rally for a 2-1 win.

“I’m pleased with our guys today,” Chestatee coach Michael Herrin said. “This is a good confidence builder for us.”
In the first half, Chestatee pressured a Riverside defense that played back in an effort to combat the War Eagles’ speed.

From midfield up, the War Eagles controlled the time of possession, wearing down Riverside’s defense and keeping the ball off the feet of the Eagles’ forwards.

The pressure was for naught, however, as the War Eagles’ couldn’t put the ball in the net despite many close-range opportunities.

“We’ve outshot a lot of our opponents,” Herrin said. “We just haven’t been able to put the ball in the frame.

“Finishing’s been our problem.”

With their offensive having not had the opportunity to attack much in the first 20 minutes, Riverside came out with a sense of urgency in the second half.

It paid off as the Eagles scored seven minutes in on a Daniel Vergara shot from 10-yards out.

Despite being down, Chestatee didn’t panic but instead continued to play in the manner it had in the first half: War Eagles’
midfielders winning balls and pushing them upfield to their speedy forwards.

The persistent pressure of Chestatee meant a break in the Eagles’ defense was inevitable.

That break happened in the 25th minute when a Zach Mills low corner kick found the feet of Alejandro Gonzalez who tied the game.

Six minutes later, Jorge Ramos, who had subbed in for Gonzalez moments before, scored the winning goal for Chestatee on a breakaway down the right side of the field that went from right to left of the goal and in.

“(Jorge) Ramos able to turn on the jets and get past his defender,” Herrin said, “We just did a much better job today of getting guys in the box.”

According to Herring Tuesday’s come-from-behind win will be a good confidence booster for his young team, which is facing its first Region 7-AAA game Friday against Gainesville.

“I think we can compete with Gainesville,” Herrin said. “It just comes down to finishing. If we’re finishing, it should be a good game.”

Chestatee plays host to Gainesville at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Riverside returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Winder-Barrow.
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