By Chris Parsons / Sports Editor
CORBIN — Coming into Wenesday’s 13th Region title game against Oneida Baptist Institute, Corbin head coach Armando Cima said he expected a tough contest against what he called a much-improved Mountaineers team.
Cima got exactly what he expected and it took a goal by Lucas Canineu with less than 10:00 to play in the contest to decide the outcome as the Redhounds won their second straight 13th Region Championship.
The win means Corbin will hit the road Monday as they travel to the face the winner of the 16th Region Championship game between Ashland Blazer and Boyd County.
Despite needing a late goal to pull out the win and avoid the game going to penalty kicks, Cima gave his team credit to making adjustments as Oneida Baptist stuck with its game plan throughout the entire contest.
“They came in with a good plan and it was obvious that they were trying to mark Lucas and Tulio (Canineu) out of the game,” Cima said. “To the boys' credit, they did well in that situation and handled the pressure.
“They did a good job of not only handling the pressure of what was going on in the game, but the pressure of the situation overall here at their home field,” he added.
Corbin took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half when Tulio Canineu scored on a penalty kick after he was fouled inside the box with 21:20 to play in the half.
All was silent until OBI’s Itune Liwani scored with 20:06 to play in the contest to tie the score at 1-1.
It looked as though the match could go to penalty kicks until Lucas Canineu found a hole amongst a group of OBI defenders with 9:28 to play, giving the Redhounds all the room they needed.
Corbin is not stranger to success at home, having won its opening round game in last year’s state tournament in the form of a 3-1 win over Perry Central.
Cima said being able to win a region title at home made the feat extra special and compared Wednesday’s win with last year’s experience.
“We were able to pick up a win last year in the state tournament and this is right there with that,” Cima said. “Punching that ticket is something you want to do every season, so to be able to do it at home is great.”