Pirates squander late lead, settle for 4-4 tie at Santa Ana

Pirates squander late lead, settle for 4-4 tie at Santa Ana

SANTA ANA -- It's always interesting when Orange Coast and Santa Ana get together for a men's soccer match and on Tuesday at SAC, the Pirates and Dons battled for a 4-4 tie in a crucial Orange Empire Conference matchup.

The Pirates (8-3-6 overall, 5-3-3 in OEC) carried leads of 3-1 and 4-2 in this match, only to see the Dons (8-3-6, 5-1-5) answer back to even the match before the final whistle.

After falling behind early, OCC ripped off three straight goals in a 17-minute span to lead, 3-1. In the 11th minute, Vitor Gameiro scored, followed by back-to-back goals by Nicholas Cardenas (with assists by Dominic Bair on all three goals).

It stayed 3-1 through the rest of the first half, but Santa Ana responded in the second minute of the second half on a goal by Everado Serrano to make it 3-2.

But, OCC answered back just three minutes later when Achref Beldi took a feed from Gameiro and scored to put the Pirates back up by two goals, 4-2.

It remained 4-2 until the 73rd minute, when Emilio Luengas scored for the Dons to make it 4-3 and just two minutes later, Luengas would score again to even the match.

Santa Ana was shorthanded over the final six minutes of play following the ejection of goalkeeper Stephen Sanchez (two yellow cards), but the Pirates could not find the tiebreaker down the stretch. Both teams earned a combined nine yellow cards in the match (six for SAC, three for OCC).

Coast will return to the OCC Soccer Complex on Friday to host Cypress, beginning at 3 p.m.