Pedro Sorto

Behind the Badge: Super Cup thriller

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    This past Saturday, D.C. United hosted the championship match of their inaugural Super Copa tournament, presented by East West Mortgage. The single elimination tournament held on RFK Stadium's Auxiliary Field kicked off on April 1 with 16 elite Hispanic adult teams from local leagues. La Chapin, representing the Virginia International Soccer League, and C.D. Bata, from the Arlington Bolivian Soccer League, played in the championship match for the grand prize of $4,000.

    The championship game was an exciting, close match-up. La Chapin started off with initial momentum by scoring an early goal to take a 1-0 lead in the first half. Both teams displayed fancy footwork and had many goal scoring opportunities throughout the match. After a few failed scoring opportunities, C.D. Bata finally got on the scoreboard. Jose Paranhos, a skillful Brazilian who spearheaded Bata's attack throughout the match, scored a beautiful goal off of a give-and-go from the top of the box to tie the game just before the half.

    However, La Chapin was quick to respond as Rachid Maoub scored to take a 2-1 lead within moments of the opening of the second half. Just a few minutes later, La Chapin had another opportunity to score with a breakaway from Matt Ney, the tournament's leading goal scorer, but C.D. Bata defender Jesus Baptista was able to recover and stop the play.

    After having a shot go just over the crossbar, Baimar Ferrufino of C.D. Bata scored to tie the match again, 2-2. Shortly after, a penalty kick was awarded to La Chapin. Rachid Maoub took the spot kick and scored his second goal of the match to put La Chapin up 3-2.

    The match was very physical and resulted in yellow card cautions for Osly Umansor and Mauricio Castillo of La Chapin. In the remaining minutes of the game, C.D. Bata had multiple chances to even the scoreboard and finally Oman Zambrana scored a goal that slipped under the diving La Chapin 'keeper, Boyan Yankulov, to bring the match to level terms, 3-3. After Bata's tying goal, Yankulov made two incredible back-to-back saves to keep La Chapin in the match and take the game to penalty kicks.

    In the round of penalty kicks, Bata goalkeeper Grover Borda came up big and was the difference maker in the match. The first and fourth shots for La Chapin, taken by Rachid Maoub and Nelson Canales, respectively, were both saved by Borda. Jorge Lopez, Matt Ney and Marco Chantel all scored their penalty kicks for La Chapin.

    However, Omar Escobar, Edwin Beltran, Robson Gimenez, and Jose Paranhos all scored for C.D. Bata to secure the win. C.D. Bata was awarded the Super Copa, $4,000, and medals for its first place finish. La Chapin was awarded $1,500 and medals for its second-place finish. In addition, both teams will compete in the 2006 Copa TACA tournament. In the third place match, Miller and Long defeated Shulton City, 5-2.