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Central's offense arrives on time in 4-0 soccer victory
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- The Central Tigers were not deterred by mechanical problems that delayed their arrival for Tuesday's game.
The Tigers arrived to Whiteley Park tardy -- the game started 35 minutes after it originally was to go -- and in a blink of the eye, the Tigers were up two goals.
The two goals stood as all Central needed, but the Tigers added two more in the second half for a 4-0 victory.
The Tigers were poised and obviously ready to get to turn on their offense despite just a quick warm up.
"Maybe they were just thinking about other stuff and just came out and played," Central coach Dan Martin said. "That always makes it easier when you score two goals quickly."
Tigers senior Matt Chism opened the scoring 45 seconds into the game as he slid a ball past Mules goalkeeper Jose Reyes from a bad angle left of the net.
Duncan McKinley found a loose ball out front and booted it in about two minutes later.
Mules coach Rusty Crafton couldn't believe his team got down 2-0 in the first three minutes.
"I was really shocked," Crafton said. "We worked on a lot of stuff before the game. We thought we had it fixed, but again we've been having quick let downs and it's effecting us because we are playing behind most games. It's hard to get back."
Poplar Bluff (2-7-1) mustered a solid attack after the Central goals. Luis Rivera put three shots on net in a span of five minutes, and Francis Rivera later got a great angle but sent the ball high and wide left.
Crafton was pleased with the counter attack.
"It was much better game," Crafton said. "Luis had some good shots, and Francis had a shot there. That's what you've got to have, especially from different guys."
Scoring chances were few and far between in the second half for Poplar Bluff.
Central (7-3) added two goals in a four-minute span late in the half.
Nick Barnes scored on a pass from the right corner with 14:34 remaining.
Chandler Bagley netted the final goal of the night on a break away about four minutes later.
Central avenged a 4-3 overtime loss to the Mules earlier this month.
"We didn't have the heart that we brought the last time we played Cape," Crafton said. "Again, it was just let downs. We gave up."
Martin said his team was closer to full strength this time.
"It was a little different," Martin said. "Last game we had our goalkeeper out with a concussion. We had one of our strikers out for yellow cards, and we had an injury to one of our midfield players. We were healthy this time and that helped out a lot."
Central goalkeeper Austin Bagley made seven saves on the night.
Poplar Bluff has lost five straight games with just one goal scored during the span.
"Definitely we are going to work on shooting drills," Crafton said. "We worked on those yesterday. We just got to get back to the fundamentals and maybe get some full scrimmage if we can. And just work on our defense."