• July 15, 2019

NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE: Sockers FC knocks out Dallas City - Odessa American: Sports

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NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE: Sockers FC knocks out Dallas City

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Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 12:54 am

MIDLAND It didn’t take long to figure out if Sockers FC would have enough in the tank to get through Lone Star Conference semifinal.

Turns out Mother Nature was the only that could hold back the Sockers.

Sockers FC erupted with four goals in the opening 27 minutes to take command in their 9-1 win over Dallas City FC Thursday at Grande Communications Stadium.

The start of the game was pushed back an hour due to thunderstorms in the area.

It did little to bother the top-seeded Sockers (10-2-2 overall, 10-1-2 in the Lone Star Conference) as the team punched its ticket to the Lone Star Conference Championship against the Fort Worth Vaqueros at 7:15 p.m. Saturday back at Grande Communications Stadium.

The Vaqueros defeated the Denton Diablos in a penalty kick shootout to advance in the other semifinal earlier Thursday.

“It was one of those perfect nights,” Sockers FC head coach Johnny Clifford said. “It was one of those nights where everything goes your way. I think they’re a much better team than the score indicates but we were a good team tonight.”

Julio Vargas scored four goals and had two assists to help the team punch its ticket to the conference championship game.

“We needed this,” Vargas said. “We’ve been playing well at home. We’ve been grinding it out in training. It feels good to come out and get on the board. A lot of guys who have been here this whole summer have been working hard.

“We put ourselves in a good position in the regular season. It felt good to play a semifinal game at home and we found a way to win. We didn’t let off the pedal.”

It didn’t take Sockers FC long to get going, scoring in the ninth minute of the match when Eduardo Bonatto found the back of the net off an assist from Vargas to take an early 1-0 lead.

Ewan Mclaughlan added to the Sockers’ advantage with a goal of his own just 10 minutes later to double the lead.

Five minutes later, the Sockers earned a corner kick and while Dallas City FC goalkeeper managed to punch the ball away, he was unable to clear it and Andrew White fired a shot from inside the box for a 3-0 advantage.

Vargas found the back of the net for the first time four minutes later, scoring on a pass from Andres Ruiz to give the Sockers a commanding 4-0 lead.

Dallas City’s best chance of the first half came in the 33rd minute when Malike Key’s shot from close range was saved by Sockers goalkeeper Lukas Betz.

The Sockers picked up where they left off at the start of the second half, adding five more goals to their total in the last 45 minutes. Vargas completed his hat trick with a 67th minute goal before adding his fourth in the 76th minute.

Dallas City’s Jose Lopez managed to cancel out a clean sheet for the Sockers with his 74th minute goal.

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