UCLA Ties San Diego State, 2-2
Oct. 11, 2009
In an eventful game at the SDSU Sports Deck on Sunday afternoon, No. 4/2 UCLA and San Diego State battled to a 2-2 tie. Both teams came back from one-goal deficits to tie the game, but neither team was able to score the winning goal in the two overtime periods.
Once again, it was Kyle Nakazawa who provided the bulk of the Bruin offense, scoring a goal and assisting on the other. Not long after having an apparent goal called off for offsides, he scored at 14:12 to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Danny Suits earned the assist on the play, dribbling down the left side of the box and passing it to Nakazawa, who put it into the left side of the net from about 14 yards out. The goal was Nakazawa's team-leading eighth of the season, and it marked the fifth consecutive game in which he has scored a goal, which ties the school record held by Billy Thompson (1988) and Joe-Max Moore (1991). Nakazawa has a goal or assist in seven straight games and has contributed a goal or assist on UCLA's last seven goals scored.
San Diego State tied it up at 26:51 when Devon Sandoval scored after a misclear by a Bruin defender bounced off him and into the upper right corner just out of goalkeeper Brian Perk's reach. The Aztecs nearly scored again half a minute later when Jose Altamirano got free after receiving a through ball. Perk came out to challenge, forcing Altamirano to push his shot his shot just over the crossbar.
Things began to get tense in the 60th minute when San Diego State's Matt McManus went sliding for a ball in the box at the same time as Perk. The Bruin goalkeeper was kicked in the face as McManus appeared to score, but the referees did not allow the goal, calling a foul instead. But more important damage was done, as Perk sustained an eye injury and had to be taken to a local hospital. His status will be evaluated later in the week.
"It was a dangerous play, and Brian unfortunately was kicked in the head on the play," said UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo. "We'll see in the next few days how he's doing. We hope the best for him."
Perk was replaced by Brian Rowe, who had started the last five games while Perk was with the U.S. U-20 National Team. Rowe made three saves in his first 20 minutes of play but was outmanned in the 81st minute when San Diego State scored the go-ahead goal. A head-to-head collision in the box between an Aztec player and Bruin defender Luis Serrano left Serrano face-down on the ground, but play continued, and Nick Cardenas headed a Khadim Diouf cross into the upper left corner past a diving Rowe at the 80:28 mark.
The Bruins quickly responded, however, tying it up at 82:08 on a David Estrada goal, his first of the year. Nakazawa set up the goal by sending a free kick to Sean Alvarado, who headed it from the far post to Estrada. Estrada's header went into the upper right-corner to tie. Right after the goal, Cardenas was sent off with his second yellow card, forcing the Aztecs to play a man down the rest of the game. UCLA had a red card in the 83rd minute as well but did not have to play a man down since it was assessed to Oscar Reyes on the bench.
Estrada nearly scored again at 89:10, pushing the ball to his right foot and shooting from 18 yards out, but his shot was saved by San Diego State goalkeeper Brad Byrns.
The Bruins had the run of play in the two overtime periods but were unable to break through for the winning goal. Amobi Okugo had a header that was saved in the 96th minute. Michael Stephens missed a shot wide in the 103rd minute, and Nakazawa just missed wide on a free kick in the 108th minute.
"It was a disappointing result because of the manner in which they scored their goals," Salcedo said. "The first goal was against the run of play and was an unfortunate clearance that hit their forward in the back at the top of the 18 and somehow flew into their goal. The second goal was a result of a collision in the box. Two players knocked heads, and [Luis] Serrano ended up lying face down on the ground. Play continued to go on, and we were outnumbered. Nick Cardenas did a nice job on the header he scored on; give him credit for that. We came back to tie game and once again showed resiliency on the road to tie. We kept pushing forward to try to get the winner but weren't able to do that today."
The tie moves UCLA's record to 6-1-2 (1-0-2 in the Pac-10) and increases the Bruins' unbeaten streak to seven games. San Diego State moves to 3-3-4, 0-1-2. The Bruins host a pair of important games next weekend against California on Friday and Stanford on Sunday.
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