Bickering doesn’t always lead to losing, a fact the Sunset Knights proved Monday afternoon.
The Knights defeated Reagan 3-1 in a GMAC quarterfinal match at Kendall Soccer Park.
Reagan (11-5-3), which made it to the GMAC title game last year, was knocked off by a Sunset team that survived some first-half in-fighting during a scoreless first half.
“We were fighting a lot,” Sunset senior midfielder Juan Marquez said. “At the end, we got together as teammates and won.”
Sunset (14-1-4), playing its first GMAC tournament since 2008, advances to play North Miami (15-4-1) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Milander Park. The other semifinal, which starts Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Milander, will match Ferguson (11-3-4) against Varela (10-4-2).
In the Sunset game, Eddy Pineiro and Jonathan Ochoa got goals before Reagan’s Kareem Baajour broke through with a penalty kick to make it 2-1. With time winding down, Sunset’s Jonathan Diaz clinched the win with a late goal.
Diaz said it’s normal for the Knights to argue. He said the key was when the Knights started making the simple plays, which got the offense untracked.
Overall, Sunset coach Kevin Myers was pleased with his team, especially considering this is virtually the same bunch of kids who two years ago won just two games all season.
Now those freshmen and sophomores are juniors and seniors, and the Knights are a serious threat to win this week’s GMAC title — considered the city championship — and then do damage in the state playoffs.
Myers, though, said the bickering among his players is something he continues to work to improve.
“Snapping at one another is a sign of frustration when things aren’t going the way they want it to go,” he said. “They were trying to do too much on their own. In the second half, they started to pass it around better. But a goal and getting ahead in a game will always solve that stuff.”
In the other GMAC quarterfinals:
• North Miami d. American 2-2 (2-0): American (14-4-4) took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Facundo Cignarelli. But North Miami (15-4-1) battled back on goals by Widlin Alexis and Tavares Kidd.
A goal by American’s Camilo Martinez sent the game to penalty kicks, where North Miami goalie Nickson Francois came up big, stopping two shots and watching one go wide.
• Varela d. Columbus 0-0 (5-4): The Vipers (10-4-2) missed their first penalty kick and then hit five in a row to beat the Explorers (8-5-4). Columbus’ sixth penalty kick hit the crossbar to give Varela the win.
• Ferguson d. Mourning 1-1 (6-5): Mourning (11-3-4) took the lead on a 12th-minute goal. But Ferguson (11-3-4), the defending GMAC champs, rallied with a 50th-minute marker by senior forward Michael Mejia. Ferguson then won the game when goalie David Grajales stopped two Mourning shots on penalty kicks.
More boys soccer
• Archbishop Curley 1, Keys Gate Charter 0: Jose Cruz-Moralles goal. Tony Yeash 3rd shutout. AC 9-9.
• La Salle 3, Westland Hialeah 1: Fede Torres-Garcia goal, assist. Mateo Brugo goal. Bryan De Freitas goal. Frankie Alzuru assist. Alvaro Morales assist. LAS 8-3-1.
• District 14-5A Quarterfinal — Miami Beach 4, Krop 1: Jessie Stein goal, assist. Julyana Rodriguez 2 goals, assist. Cristy Mejill goal.