Marshalltown, IA – Physical. That would be the easiest way to describe the Tigers ICCAC match up with the Trojans of North Iowa Area Community College. The match saw nine totals cards, three of them red cards leaving the Tigers down one man and the Trojans down two in the final minutes.
The first half started out like any other game, the Tigers maintained possession and strung together good runs on the goal while playing tough and relentless defense. In the opening minute of the game the Tigers made an aggressive run at the net, in a fluke shot that reflected off Augusto Cunha, the ball found the net and the Tigers went up 1-0.
The Trojans struggled to move the ball on the Tiger defense, and were limited to only two shots in the first half. One of those shots came in the 27th minute when Lewis Sanders made a run and put the ball past Tiger goalkeeper, Joel Serrano.
The Tigers entered halftime tied 1-1 but that wouldn't last long, in the 53rd minute of play, freshman midfielder Kazuki Kimura scored his sixth goal of the season to put the Tigers up 2-1. Starting the second half, both teams picked up the intensity and both teams started seeing an increased number of fouls. With tensions rising, the Tigers fouled a Trojan inside the box, forcing a penalty kick that Harry Holland put behind Serrano to tie the game.
The second half started to get out of hand, with twenty-five fouls being called, eight of which were yellow or red cards. In the closing minutes, the Tigers were playing with ten men while the Trojans were forced to play with nine, with the pace picking up and the one-man advantage, sophomore Rafael Vacas put the ball past the Trojan goalkeeper for the winning goal in the 84th minute.
The Tigers now move to 8-1 on the season and 3-1 in conference play. With a few days off, the Tigers will prepare for last season's Region XI champions, Indian Hills Community College. The two will face off on Saturday, September 22 in Ottumwa. Last season the Tigers defeated the Warriors 2-1 at home in a game that was dedicated the Head Coach Rafael Martinez and his son Pablo who was undergoing cancer treatment. For more information on the men's soccer team, follow @MCCTigers_MSOC on twitter.