Othello loses controversial game to Toppenish

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Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Othello midfielder Bernie Garza Jr. (red) can't put a quality shot on goal as he's hounded by the Toppenish defense.

OTHELLO — Human error is part of sports.

Whether it is the players, coaches or referees. Tuesday night at Huskie Stadium it was a little bit of all three to create a controversial ending to Othello’s showdown with Toppenish.

Juan Tapia missed a penalty kick in double overtime, an assistant referee could not see a potential game-winning Olympic goal by Christian Arvizu on the following corner kick and Toppenish was able to win in a shootout 1-0.

All in all, it was a frustrating ending to a game that featured four total yellow cards and zero goals in 90 minutes of play.

“It’s not a misapplication of the rule (on the missed goal),” head coach Bernie Garza said. “It’s got to be a misapplication of rule to protest it. They can’t go back and say, ‘Oh, it was a goal,’ but I’m going to try and get the video to the AD (athletic director) and send it, but it is what it is.”

The missed penalty kick and goal that wasn’t all occurred at the tail end of double overtime and the Huskies’ emotional hangover was evident in the shootout.

Tapia canned Othello’s first attempt, however, the next three offerings were not even on frame and Toppenish calmly sunk three of four to win.

“It kind of carried over,” Garza said. “Juanito missed here and scored over here, but then our other shooters missed and that usually doesn’t happen.”

Toppenish clogged the front of its goal throughout regulation, packing in its defense and sending through balls up to its forwards. That style of play negated Othello’s strength in the midfield.

“They never tested our goalie,” Garza said.

The Wildcats were even able to record a shutout using a backup goalie after their started was knocked out within the first five minutes after a leaping collision with Carlos Murillo.

Othello’s best opportunity came in the 31st minute when Tapia had a one-on-one look against the Toppenish keeper, but a diving save kept the score knotted at zero.

“We couldn’t create anything,” Garza said.

Box score

T 0 0 (3) — 1

O 0 0 (1) — 0

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