Burlingame and South City boys’ soccer notch 0-0 draw in high-ranking PAL matchup.

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Burlingame and South City boys’ soccer notch 0-0 draw in high-ranking PAL matchup.

Junior defender Ben Neuman throws the ball in during the first half.

Junior defender Ben Neuman throws the ball in during the first half.

Mark Habelt

Junior defender Ben Neuman throws the ball in during the first half.

Mark Habelt

Mark Habelt

Junior defender Ben Neuman throws the ball in during the first half.

Mark Habelt, Staff Reporter

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In a back-and-forth, Friday night affair between the 2nd and 3rd-place teams in the PAL, Burlingame, and South San Francisco could not manage to find the back of the net and settled in a scoreless tie.

The visiting Warriors opened the game with inspired and energetic play, netting 5 shots and forcing sophomore goalkeeper Jack Kriner to make 5 saves. However, Burlingame quickly responded with 4 shots, a corner kick, and a free kick in the span of 10 minutes. The momentum shift was quickly negated by a questionable yellow card call against senior midfielder Marcus Grundmann, who was making a run to the goal tracing a dangerous through ball.

The two sides traded scoring opportunities after the booking, with the Warriors getting a shot on goal in the 22nd minute and Grundmann reaching the 6-yard box eight minutes later on a tantalizing run that resulted in a desperate clearing by South City.

In the 31st minute, Burlingame had a promising free-kick opportunity from 30 yards out after Aymeric Destree drew a foul. However, a Grundmann cross into the box proved to no avail, as the Warriors easily cleared the ball.

A promising opportunity presented itself for the Warriors in the 34th minute, when the Warriors tested Kriner with a 30-yard bullet of a free kick that the sophomore handled with poise.

Three minutes later, junior midfielder Jared Dunning tested his luck on a sizzling shot from outside the box that rifled through the defense but was corralled by goalkeeper Julio Martin.

During stoppage time in the first half, the Warriors gave Kriner a scare as he mishandled a beautiful cross into the box and nearly allowed an easy goal. Undaunted, Kriner shielded off oncoming strikers and secured the ball with brute strength and athleticism, calming the impending storm and protecting his clean sheet.

The Warriors came out of the locker room playing with pride and created the best scoring opportunity of the game – a ground cross across the 6-yard box that surprisingly found no foot to tap it in. On a counter attack after the Warriors’ missed opportunity, junior striker Andrew Morales found himself one-on-one with the keeper but was upended by Martin.

In the 56th minute, Grundmann sent a 33-yard free kick just wide of the upper left corner, an unlucky miss that would have made a highlight reel had it went in.

After an uninspiring South City free-kick five minutes later, Morales nearly connected with Grundmann on a corner kick, but Grundmann’s header sailed wide right.

In the 68th minute, Grundmann drew a yellow card that yielded him a free kick from the left wing, which the Warriors calmly deflected away.

South City had back-to-back scoring chances in the 70th minute, but missed a shot on goal and had a corner deflected out.

The Panthers turned it into high gear the rest of the game, but could not get a call to to go their way, as Andrew Morales was called offsides on two consecutive runs toward goal, and Aymeric Destree was booked on a foul call in the 78th minute.

On the final play of the match, a corner kick taken by Grundmann, the Panthers missed a header high over the crossbar. The draw protected South City’s 2nd-place standing in the PAL table and kept Burlingame a game back in 3rd-place.

Mark Habelt
Junior defender Ben Neuman throws the ball in during the first half.