Chalchis takes down Sierra in La Liga final |

Chalchis takes down Sierra in La Liga final

M.G. Gallagher

EDWARDS -And you thought the Olympics were exciting. At the La Liga final Sunday on the Miller Ranch soccer field, Sierra Soccer and Chalchis dueled for supremacy in what was a final to top all finals. In the highly-anticipated matchup between this season’s two league heavyweights, neither team disappointed.The final marked a championship-game return for Sierra who has made appearances in the final a number of times, while Chalchis – a favorite both last year and this year – made their first final appearance after being upset in qualifications round last year.Within minutes of the opening whistle, Joel Galvan put Sierra on the scoreboard. In the team’s characteristically fast style, Julio Landeros received a throw-in and placed a nice cross to Galvan who fired the ball into the net before Chalchis knew what had happened.Chalchis, known for its excellent foot skills on both defense and offense throughout the season, had an answer, though. In the seventh minute of the first half Noe Rocha stripped a Sierra player of the ball and laced a shot into the back of the net to tie the game, 1-1. The tying goal was a sign of more to come.With Chalchis and Sierra holding the title of the two quickest teams in the league, the remainder of Sunday’s final was arguably the most captivating and exciting championship in La Liga history.The action was so intense that the cheers of the hundreds of spectators looking on were punctuated by long moments of silent captivation.One of those moments of captivation – and deflation for Chalchis fans – came when Sierra’s Galvan nailed another goal into the Chalchis’ net right at the 45th minute off a pass from captain Alberto Crespo.The letdown didn’t last long.Seven minutes into the second half, Chalchis’ Juan “Chupa” Rocha picked up his first assist with a snappy pass to Alvaro Rosalez, who tied up the game at 2-2.With time running out, and both teams frantic to score the deciding goal, Sierra worked its fast, longer-passing game, while Chalchis revved up its interceptor defense and its quick dribbling and passing style at an even harder pace.With so much at stake, too, neither team’s tempers flared in what was a well-played game on both sides.Finally, with 13 minutes left, the possibility of penalty kicks to decide the league trophy was avoided when Noe Rocha, off another assist from Juan Rocha, drilled the game-winner.”We played with heart”, said Noe Rocha after the game.Another sentiment that ran through both teams and the fans was that the game was not only intense, but that the play was even and at a high-quality level. At the finals afterparty afterward, both teams were smiling. That was indication enough that the game was not only a great game, but a model one.Vail Colorado

Support Local Journalism