COSTA MESA -- In a match that had more excitement that the score might indicate, the Orange Coast College men's soccer team fought back and salvaged a 1-1 tie with visiting Rio Hondo on Wednesday afternoon at the OCC Soccer Complex.
Both teams had a plethora of opportunities throughout the end-to-end match, but neither team could find success.
Finally, in the 75th minute, a defensive lapse led to a high-percentage shot by Sergio Saucedo, who found the back of the net, giving the Roadrunners (3-1-1) a 1-0 lead.
But the Pirates (1-0-3), already equipped with loads of experience in close contests, continued to push and in the 82nd minute, their hard work paid off.
On a free kick 40 yards away from goal, a long send-in was deflected back, but midfielder Vitor Gameiro knocked a perfect header to teammate Carlos Ambrosi, who ripped his shot past RHC goalkeeper Jose Paredes (eight saves) to even up the match.
The contest had both teams shooting at will (27 shots combined, 15 on goal), but both teams' goalies played solid in net.
OCC's Sina Shahnazari had seven saves, including six in the second half that allowed his team to hang around and find an equalizer in the final 10 minutes of the match.
Wednesday's match is the first of three straight for the Pirates, who will travel to L.A. Harbor on Thursday (2:30 p.m.) before wrapping up the week at East Los Angeles College on Friday (6 p.m.).