Editor’s note: This article has been to updated to reflect that Keller Central assistant coach Chris Padilla received a red card in Friday’s bi-district match against Arlington Martin. The information was originally incorrect.
Arlington Martin got a late goal from Nick Albus to survive its Class 5A Region I bi-district match against Keller Central 1-0 Friday night at Pennington Field.
In a game that lacked scoring, it made up for it with intensity and physical play. There were hard challenges and flaring tempers that nearly reached boiling point several times. A number of yellow cards were issued, and in the 22nd minute, a Central coach was red-carded and sent from the sideline.
The first good scoring chance came off the foot of Martin’s Andre Anasi in the 17th minute. He directed a cross off the outside of the right post.
Martin (16-6-1) put together several opportunities just after the half-hour mark. First, Luis Mendez tried a shot from distance that forced keeper Chris Simpson to make a diving stop for the Chargers (8-9-4). Two minutes later, Anasi sent an inviting cross in front of goal, but Albus couldn’t quite reach it. In the 37th minute, the Warriors unleashed several attempts at goal, but all were blocked by bodies in front.
Central’s best chance came just a minute before halftime, when Evan Ripic turned on a ball inside the area and whipped it just wide right.
Martin finally broke the deadlock in the 69th minute. Mendez made a run down the left side before taking a shot that was deflected. It fell to Albus, who scored from close range.