Anthony Powell scored twice for Keller Fossil Ridge to help the Panthers earn a point in a 2-2 draw with Keller Central on Tuesday in a boys soccer game.
The win helps Fossil Ridge keep pace with Richland in the District 4-5A title race, while Central finds itself in a logjam of teams competing for the final two playoff berths.
“The main thing was we were down at halftime,” Fossil Ridge coach James Moore said. “And this team did what they’ve done all year and that’s fight hard and find a way.”
Central opened the scoring in the fifth minute. Evan Ripic broke free down the right side and placed an inviting cross all the way across goal that Fabian Linares was able to slot into an open net for the 1-0 lead.
Linares had an opportunity to double the lead in the 22nd minute, but his shot from about 12 yards went wide left.
Just one minute later, Fossil Ridge (6-1-2 District 4-5A) leveled the score. Powell fired a bending shot from the right side that Central (4-4-3) keeper Chris Simpson deftly pushed over the crossbar.
But Powell wouldn’t be denied on the ensuing corner kick. His header glanced off a Chargers defender at the post and slipped in to make it 1-1.
The Panthers applied pressure for much of the remainder of the first half. Powell again forced a nice save from Simpson on a rising effort from 30 yards out. The resulting corner kick was saved at the right post by Darin Hubart to keep the score tied.
The first half closed in controversy, as Central was awarded a penalty kick with 13 seconds on the clock. David Ching stepped to the spot and his shot was initially saved by Joaquin Garcia, but Ching was first to the loose ball and punched it in for a 2-1 Chargers’ lead.
Neither team could control the run of play for much of the second half and quality chances were few, but it was Powell again to the rescue for Fossil Ridge.
In the 74th minute, he bent a free kick from 19 yards out into the right side netting to make it 2-2.
“He does what good players do,” Moore said. “They take their teams on their shoulders on nights when other guys are struggling and find a way to make things happen.”
The best chance for a winner in the final minutes came from a Powell throw-in. Cody Seidel was able to get a head on it, but Simpson was equal to the task.