It was tough, it was a TOUGH one. (Copper Hills) came out really well. They controlled possession for most of the game. They played a phenomenal game. I have to give them credit for that. —Bingham head coach Ahmed Bakrim
SOUTH JORDAN — In high school soccer, historical precedence is often something that should not be taken too seriously. After all, players come and go every year. Coaches change schools. Kids give up certain sports entirely. And yet the past five years have shown that time and again that when it comes to Bingham and the Copper Hills boys soccer, history matters.
The 2017 Miners added another Bingham triumph to the record Tuesday afternoon at Bingham High School. Led by Leo Sobreira, who netted both Bingham goals, as well as keeper Zach Rothey, who silenced repeated Copper Hills’ attacks, Bingham held off a determined Grizzlies squad for the 2-1 victory.
“It was tough, it was a TOUGH one,” said Bingham head coach Ahmed Bakrim. “(Copper Hills) came out really well. They controlled possession for most of the game. They played a phenomenal game. I have to give them credit for that.”
The win, Bingham’s second over Copper Hills this season, was the Miners' fourth victory in a row over the Grizzlies. Each of those successes, however, came by just one score. In fact, in seven of the past 10 matchups between the schools the difference between victory and defeat has been but a single goal.
“After the last game (Bingham won in overtime), we knew this would be a kind of revenge game for them,” Bakrim said. “To pull out three points in a game like this, especially one where we struggled, I can’t be more proud.”
The Miners certainly did struggle. From the outset, Copper Hills appeared the more skilled and determined side. In the first two minutes alone, the Grizzlies had two excellent shots on goal, the best of which came off the foot of Carlos Becerra-Gomez. Rothey snuffed out that attempt, one of three huge saves by the sophomore.
“They were really aggressive with the ball,” Bakrim said. “Shout out to my keeper. He was focused the entire game and made some tremendous saves.”
The Copper Hills attack continued unabated through the first 20 minutes of the half — that is, until a Bingham counter midway through the first. That attack netted the Miners a free kick, and Sobreira subsequently drove the ball through a morass of defenders and into the goal.
“That’s Leo,” said Bakrim. “Whenever you have a tight game, he will always open it up for you.”
Thanks to goal, at the end of the first half the Miners led 1-0, despite the strong play of Copper Hills.
“(The Grizzlies) won almost every first ball in the first half,” said Bakrim. “I had to talk to my boys about it. There was no way we were going to win with that happening.”
The second half started in much same way as the first, with the Grizzlies in control of the ball. That possession earned Copper Hills multiple corner kicks, but the Miners defense held firm and eventually the home team, courtesy of a barrage of aggressive through passes, flipped the script.
Bingham was eventually awarded another free kick, which Sobreira once again put into the back of the net.
As the contest drew to a close things got a little chippy, as befits a late season region contest, and the Grizzlies were able to capitalize with an Aaron Nixon stoppage time goal.
After the score, Copper Hills had one final opportunity to even the score but the last ditch attack fizzled out harmlessly.
“This game is going to keep us humble,” Bakrim said. “It’s hard to stay humble when you have success. (The Miners improved to 10-1 on the year with the win including an 8-0 region record.) To go through a game like this, that wasn’t easy which is a good thing.”
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