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Peru Captures U13 TJSL Championship in Shootout

Peru captured the Boys Under 13 Division Championship of the Teaneck Junior Soccer League by prevailing 3-2 over Haiti in a shootout Sunday evening, November 20 at the Votee Park Sportsplex. The two teams battled up and down the full-length field without either team scoring through 70 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime through blustery conditions with game time temperatures dipping below 40 with a windchill below 30.

Each team designated five players to attempt penalty kicks in the shootout. Haiti jumped out in front when Freicy Battista blasted the first penalty kick just off the fingertips of diving Peru goalie, Yosef Weiner. Haiti’s goalie, Jaccard Simmons, and Weiner each saved two shots before Peru’s Adam Haddad converted to tie the shootout at 1-1 after three kicks. Weiner then made a third consecutive save and Gavriel Weinstein scored to give Peru a 2-1 lead after four kicks. Ian Delgado kept Haiti’s chances alive by converting to tie the shootout at 2-2. Weiner hit the crossbar on Peru’s fifth attempt and the ball deflected out extending the drama further. Haiti selected Aron Nadler to shoot sixth and his shot was knocked down and smothered by Weiner. Ethan Badner then blasted the winning shot.

Peru finished in first place during the regular season with a record of five wins, one loss and two draws. The championship matchup was must anticipated as number two seed Haiti was the only team to have defeated Peru during the regular season, having prevailed 2-1 in the regular season finale. Haiti was led throughout the season by speedster Battista who scored the most goals in the division. Peru’s Darren Smith did an excellent job of guarding Battista during the championship game, until he suffered a lower leg injury late in the second half. Peru’s solid defense was anchored by Badner, Moshe Leiberman, Eitan Book and Elias Sanchez. Peru’s midfield play was strengthened by Weinstein, David Eli Ryba, Avi Popper, Ariel Blank, Avi Rosenberg and Aiden Barr. Peru’s attack was led by Haddad, Yoni Taragin and Austin Steiner.

“It was truly a great game and I was thrilled to see all fifteen boys on the Peru roster compete with the determination of champions. Haiti kept coming after us all night long and we struck to our defensive strategy, did not back down and came through in the end,” commented Coach Robert Weiner immediately after the game.

Other contributors to Haiti’s success included Gavriel Barber, Aaron Benoff, Isaac Cohen, Alex Garcia-Lopez, Max Kohn, Danny Paulino, Abie Perelis, Joshua Steifel and Ryan Zaken, as well as coaches Larry Steifel and Ben Kohn.

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