CHIHUAHUA, MX–Adriano Nunez scored two goals with an assist and Carlos “Poper” Hernandez added a goal and assist, as the defending Ron Newman Cup champion Chihuahua Savage beat the San Diego Sockers 8-6 on Friday night at Corner Sport Arena in Chihuahua. The Savage (7-5) beat the Sockers for the second time this season, clinching the season series with one match left to play.
San Diego took leads of 1-0 and 3-1 but succumbed under the weight of five goals conceded in the second quarter, including a critical short-handed goal in the final minute of the first half. The Sockers (11-2, 32 points) got within 5-4 on Leonardo de Oliveira’s hat trick goal, but saw the Savage score the next three goals to build an 8-4 lead and control the match.
Chihuahua’s dominant lead was trimmed on goals by Brandon Escoto and Kraig Chiles at 9:05 and 10:43 of the fourth quarter. Chiles netted a goal with two assists, improving to 692 career points in the PASL and MASL. San Diego pulled their keeper Xavier Snaer-Williams for a sixth attacker but could not further pressure the net, and a late blue card penalty ended any hope of a comeback.
The Sockers got the start to the match they wanted, combining rock-solid defense with an early goal. On a restart from the left wall after a foul, Kraig Chiles sent a pass into the middle of the crease to Leonardo de Oliveira, who had boxed out his defender with back-to-net. Leo controlled the ball and then measured a perfect surprise, a backheel goal that caught the defense unaware and snuck inside the post for a 1-0 lead at 5:54. San Diego blocked five shots during a scoreless frame and lead by one going to the second quarter.
A harbinger of things to come came quickly, as Chihuahua scored just eight seconds into the second quarter on an Enrique Cañez goal for a 1-1 tie. The Sockers reestablished the lead once again on a set piece, as Chiles found Leo on left wing for a clean look and a second goal at 2:49 for a 2-1 lead. Less than a minute later, midfielder Luis “Tortín” Perez recovered a loose ball along the Savage goal wall and squirted a wall pass off a Chihuahua defender and into the net for his first goal of the season and a 3-1 lead at 4:55.
After holding their shape for almost 25 minutes, things started to unravel for the San Diego defense as the second quarter wore on. José Gilberto Lopez took advantage of a bouncing ball that Xavier…