Gomez-Carreto’s left foot punches Bears’ ticket to final

The 31 goals he scored during the regular season were apparently not enough to convince Edgar Gomez-Carreto that his skill set was complete.

So the striker on the Mission boys’ soccer team spent the last two weeks putting in extra time to perfect his left-footed shot-making ability and the result was a beautiful goal that all but sealed the Bears’ 2-0 win over Galileo in the San Francisco Section semifinals Wednesday at Kezar Stadium. Gomez-Carreto found a loose ball at the top of the penalty box in the 65th minute, drew it back to beat a defender and struck a lefty shot that kissed the far post before dropping into the net for Mission’s second goal.

The two-time defending champion Bears (16-8-4) then finished off the shutout victory and will play the winner of today’s Lowell-O’Connell match in Saturday’s final.

“I took my time and when I looked up I saw the goalie in the middle and went for the far side,” Gomez-Carreto said. “I score about half my goals with each foot, but I’ve really been working hard on that shot in practice. And that one went right where I wanted it.”

The perfect placement of Gomez-Carreto’s goal came after a first half in which Mission did everything but find the net. The Bears outshot Galileo 15-1 in the opening period and had nine corner kicks to zero for the Lions, but some near-misses and several strong saves from Emiliano Bautista kept the score 0-0 at the intermission.

“I told them to be aggressive and they were — we just couldn’t get oneto go in,” Mission coach Scott Kennedy said. “I knew if they kept playing hard they’d be able to convert a few chances.”

The Bears promptly scored on their first shot of the second half. Midfielder Jose Adalith Cruz chased down a ball at the right-corner flag and sent a cross through the middle that Jose Gallardo-Marcias hammered home from 6 yards out, giving Mission a 1-0 lead in the 57th minute. Galileo (9-4-4) came right back and nearly equalized, but Bears goalie Jose Guevara-Fuentes came off his line to rob Donald Tchopya on a partial breakaway.

Moments later, Gomez-Carreto buried his goal to put the game on ice.

“In the first half, I was kind of getting stressed out, but I know I’m a leader and can’t give up,” Gomez-Carreto said. “Coach always tells me my turn will come, and I’m glad it did.” Mission 2, Galileo 0

S.F. Section playoffs

All matches at Kezar Stadium

SEMIFINALS

WEDNESDAY: Mission 2, Galileo 0

TODAY: Lowell vs. O’Connell, 2:30 p.m.

CHAMPIONSHIP

SATURDAY: Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

melliser@examiner.com

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