Abdisemed Ahmed scores winner with 2:22 remaining
There’s a new favorite for the boys Sixth Region soccer title and it’s the Butler Bears.
After a wild first half in which both teams scored three goals, Butler freshman Abdisemed Ahmed tallied the winning score on a breakaway shot with 2:22 left in the contest, giving Butler a 4-3 victory over host Fern Creek on Thursday evening
“The ball was played over the top by No. 14 (David Ibrahimkadic),” Ahmed said. “I ran past the defender and kicked the ball into the goal with my left foot. It was like winning the World Cup.”
Ahmed’s game-winner also excited Butler coach Mario Carrillo because his Bears defeated a Fern Creek team that has won the regional tournament the past three seasons, and it gave them a shiny 11-1 record in this Carrillo’s seventh year as the Bears’ coach.
“Fern Creek has dominated this region and it has taken us several years to get to the level Fern Creek is,” Carrillo said.
The loss dropped Fern Creek to 7-4-1. Butler is now 5-0 in regional play and Fern Creek 4-1.
Both coaches agreed that Butler is “probably” the regional favorite now.
“I think that player by position Butler has the best talent in the region,” Fern Creek coach John Pedro said.
Ahmed and Ibrahimkadic each scored twice for Butler, but the Bears had to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the first half to pull out the victory.
“We got off to a horrific start,” Carrillo said. “That put us in a huge hole. Ahmed has exceptional speed and if he gets a step on a defender he is difficult to stop.”
Fern Ceek’s first two goals came on long, rolling shots that ended up in an unguarded net.
First, Mangil Pradhan rolled in a goal to put Fern Creek ahead 1-0 just two minutes into the game. At the 33:28 mark, Fern Creek’s Abdoullie Sumareau bowled in his shot to make it 2-1 for the Tigers.
“There was a miscommunication between our goal-keeper and our center back,” Carrillo aid. “The goalie said he would get the ball and the center back said he would get it, and neither one got it.”
Kornell Hilliard put the Tigers in front 3-1 as he took the ball in close and scored with 23:40 left in the half. That gave Hilliard 27 goals on the season, including the three he scored in a 5-0 win over Doss on Wednesday. Butler stormed back to get within 3-2 on a 30-yard kick by Ibrahinkadic that cleared the outstretched arms of Tigers goalie Jamison Edwards with 16:43 remaining.
The score was tied at 3-3 when Ahmed scored on a header after a corner kick at the 9:10 mark.
Defense ruled the roost in the second half when Fern Creek kept trying to get Hilliard loose on a breakaway shot.
“We put six and seven men in the back in the second half,” Carrillo said. “They were looking for him (Hilliard) constantly. He’s a very talented striker. We played extremely well (on defense) as a unit. These guys are fighters. They don’t quit.”