TROPHY CLUB — Trophy Club Nelson was eliminated 2-1 by Wichita Falls Rider in a Class 4A Sectional playoff at Byron Nelson High School.
Rider (22-5-2) advances to the regional quarterfinals next week.
“I think the better team tonight did win the game, but I hate the way that it happened,” Nelson goalkeeper Travis Carmichael said. “It should have happened on the field and not by two blown calls.”
Rider’s Christian Okeke connected on a penalty kick in the 75th minute. The kick came after a handball was called inside the penalty box. It was the second call that didn’t go Nelson’s way.
The Bobcats (21-6-2) appeared to take a 2-1 lead when a throw-in was headed into the net by Rider’s Kaleb Laughlin in the 60th minute.
The goal was denied and play resumed with a 1-1 score.
“One referee said it was offside on a throw in and the other said it was obstruction,” Nelson coach Howard Putter said. “Neither one of those is possible when their own player headed the ball in. I’m at a loss and I don’t know what to say. I hate seeing a game like this get decided that way.”
Both teams were aggressive and attacking on the night. But Rider got a second wind late and had nine possessions over the final 18 minutes that produced the game-winner and one shot on goal saved by Carmichael.
It was a flurry that set the tone in the 17th minute when a goal keeping mistake allowed Nelson’s Devon Porter to flip a 25-yard shot over Rider goalkeeper Braydon Lifland’s head for a 1-0 lead.
Rider delivered an answer immediately when Okeke punched a shot in the right corner of the net past Carmichael.
“This was by far the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in, club or high school,” Carmichael said. “Their fans came two hours to see them play and look how many came out for us. I wish it had a better ending.”-
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