By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
LONDON — The Corbin Redhound soccer team was literally taken to the limit Tuesday by Whitley County, but in the end, the Redhounds came away with a 3-2 win on penalty kicks (4-3).
The win allows Corbin to advance to the district championship game and, win or lose in the finals, the region tournament.
After the loss, Whitley County coach Bosko Cupac said the only way he could be happier with his kids is if they had come out on top.
“I am absolutely ecstatic with the way my boys performed tonight,” Cupac said. “Unfortunately the results didn’t show just how well we did play because we are on the losing end, but these kids did everything I could have asked them to do.
“They did everything right and they put all of their chances away,” he added. “In the end, we took a really good Corbin team to penalty kicks, so I’m happy for my kids.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Corbin coach Armando Cima said he felt very fortunate to be able to come away with a win over the Colonels.
“I expected a hard-fought match because Whitley is very well coached and they battle,” Cima said. “They never give up and they play hard all the time and they play a very direct style and they do it very well.
“We kind of got pulled into that as well and it’s not something we do well and it kind of leveled the match and we played the match on their terms,” he added. “I feel fortunate to be able to come away with the win tonight and I give a lot of credit to Whitley County because they fought until the end.”
Corbin took a 1-0 lead early on a penalty kick by Wayne Logan, who kicked for Andrew Webb after he was fouled in the box.
Whitley County tied things up on a score by Hunter Keltner in the 30th minute to make the match all square at halftime.
The Colonels struck first in the second half when Bruno Pontes scored during the 40th minute to give his team a 2-1 lead, but Corbin wasn’t finished.
The Redhounds got a late score from Tulio Canineau with 20 minutes to play in the match to tie things at two, eventually forcing the match to be decided on penalty kicks.
The Colonels had one kick deflect off the crossbar and another stopped by Corbin’s keeper, Chase Adkins. Whitley County made good on the other three attempts.
Corbin was able to connect on the first three attempts by Logan, Canineau and Lucas Lay. The Redhounds missed on the fourth attempt, but Andrew Webb was able to connect on the fifth and final attempt to seal the 3-2 win on the 4-3 penalty kick effort.
Now, with the region tournament to come after Thursday’s district finals, Cima said he isn’t about to sit back and be contempt with just moving on.
“It’s all about bringing home trophies at this point,” Cima said. “We really want to go out and play well and win this thing because I think whoever wins this district is going to have a good shot at hosting the region tournament.
“We really feel like playing on our own field gives us an advantage because it’s a little bit wider than most fields,” he added. “That really plays to our style of soccer and helps us execute our style of play better.”