Joel Andino begged his Blue Star Honduras teammates for the free kick opportunity. With the match’s conclusion likely heading to penalty kicks, Andino felt his right leg could settle matters sooner.
The teammates obliged and the Blue Star midfielder took an indirect free kick from the left wing that arced and landed inside the far post.
The sudden-death goal in the 112th minute gave Blue Star a 3-2 overtime victory against the Haiti All-Stars in the Copa Latina final Sunday night at Ted Hendricks Stadium.
“I had faith I would make the kick, thank God it went in,” Andino said.
The victory earned Blue Star its second consecutive Copa Latina title — both on golden-goal sudden-death goals.
“It is not for the faint of heart, but we will take it,” Blue Star president Jorge Pavon said. “We knew the only way the goal was going to happen was on a set play because our legs were tired.”
Blue Star seemed destined to a regulation victory but Haiti’s Tonio Pierre scored his second goal of the match during second half stoppage time. Pierre headed in a shot off Innocent Jean-Junior’s corner kick.
“After we tied it, I thought we had them,” Haiti coach Joe Black said. “We left everything on the field, I am proud of my players.”
Both teams played an aggressive first half with repeated runs on goal and multiple fouls. Each squad committed seven fouls in the first 35 minutes
Blue Star capitalized on its seventh foul free kick as Ignacio Calcagno’s low shot from the half circle landed inside the right post and past Haiti goalkeeper Ocena Peterson for a 2-1 lead in the 29th minute.
Haiti had a seventh foul free kick five minutes later and an opportunity at the equalizer.
Instead of taking the kick from the half circle, Dumel Decius dribbled inside the large area, and passed to teammate Stanley Guyrond. Blue Star goalkeeper Rony Velasquez cut Guyrnod’s angle and deflected his shot from danger.
Blue Star struck first on Geovanny Lopera’s goal in the 14th minute. Peterson deflected Calcagno’s attempt from the left wing but failed to clear the shot. An unmarked Lopera retrieved the loose ball and tapped in a shot from eight yards.
But Blue Star’s lead was short-lived as Haiti tied the match a minute later on Pierre’s first goal.
Pierre jumped above a crowd of Blue Star defenders and headed in Guyrond’s corner kick.
The goal was the first allowed by Blue Star in the tournament after shutout victories in its previous four matches.
Earlier, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers defeated the Copa Latina All Stars, 3-0, in an exhibition match.
Gonzalo De Mujica, Stefan Demitrov and Manny Gonzalez scored the Strikers’ goals.
In a halftime ceremony of the Blue Star-Haiti match, the second class of the Copa Latina Hall of Fame welcomed four new members.
The new inductees are former players Juan Carlos Castillo and Reginald Pierre Jerome, and coach Roberto Moreno. Inducted posthumously was former Copa Latina staff member Alfred Trianna.