Texas City used a solid defensive effort to shut down Dayton, 2-0, in Friday’s Region III-5A bi-district contest at Bulldog Stadium.
The 14-5-3 Stingarees advance to play Houston Northside in the area round that begins on Friday.
Returning to the playoffs following a 3-2 opening round loss to Waltrip last year, the Stings were determined not to repeat their mistakes.
“We have a large senior group and a lot of them were on that team,” Texas City coach Jerson Carrasco-Martinez said. “They learned from that (loss). We learned not to mess around in the first half.”
Given a 1-0 lead with a goal in the 10th minute, the Stings had to defend against a stiff wind at Dayton’s back in the second half.
That posed little problem as Texas City refused to allow Dayton to make runs or cross the ball into the middle of the field.
Led by the efforts of Ricardo Robledo, Emilio Garza, Oscar Castillo-Villanueva and Vito Vlahovec along the back line, the Sting defense managed to shut down the Broncos.
“The defense played to its potential,” Carraso-Martinez said. “We knew (Dayton) placed an emphasis on their left side.”
Texas City got a huge break in the 10th minute of play when a long wind-aided clearing pass eluded the grasp of Dayton’s goalkeeper.
Juan Rodriguez continued to track the ball and was there to knock in the miscue.
The Stings continued to press the attack, hitting the far post six minutes later.
Refusing the lay back and defend the one-goal lead, Texas City kept moving forward while playing into the wind in the second half.
That paid off in the 49th minute when senior Alex Paz scored off a free kick.
“We practice free kicks every Wednesday,” Carrasco-Martinez said. “Against the wind, we wanted to keep the ball on the ground and move from left to right.”