Preseason for UIW men finished in perfect fashion on Sunday night when the Cardinals managed a 2-1 victory over UTRGV at Benson Stadium. The match was their last hit-out ahead of the regular season starting next Friday.
It was a strong offensive performance from the Cardinals, who have kept their perfect record against the Vaqueros intact. But much like their first ever match against UTRGV the Cardinals couldn’t really take the match away from UTRGV despite dominating.
Five minutes in to the match, UIW had the lead after some strong work from forward Ben Conway. The Englishman made space for himself with a strong dribble past two defenders and then hit a strong strike with his left.
It was still UIW dominating the match, but they were unable to break through after a strong defensive performance from UTRGV. UIW midfielder Miguel Ojeda got a powerful shot away in the 24th minute but Vaqueros goalkeeper Leo Castillo made a strong save to keep it out.
But on the half-hour UIW finally broke through for their second goal of the match after a strong offensive performance. UIW midfielder Robert Pratt was able to play through his forward O’Neal Moore at the far post, allowing Moore a simple finish.
With a two goal lead at half-time the Cardinals looked to just control possession from there out, as they tried out combinations ahead of the season proper. That restricted UTRGV to no shots throughout the match, apart from one just ahead of the hour.
That one shot came after a foul in the box led to a penalty for the Vaqueros and it was that penalty which led to UTRGV’s lone shot of the match. Jaako Hietikko stepped up to hit the penalty and buried it to create a tense finish. But UIW easily held on and managed the 2-1 victory, heading to their season opener high on confidence.