Burbank Boys Soccer Edges Host Burroughs 1-0

Garik Kirakosyan's tally in the 63rd minute was just enough as Burbank slipped by Burroughs in a nail-biter.

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Burbank's Garik Kirakosyan's goal in the 63rd minute was the game-winner against Burroughs. (Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

By Rick Assad

There was only one goal scored by Burbank High’s senior Garik Kirakosyan in the 63rd minute on a 37-yard kick in a Pacific League clash against Burroughs at Memorial Field on Thursday afternoon.

Even with that 1-0 win by the Bulldogs, there was action and drama throughout and included two late skirmishes that could have developed into much more before players, coaches and referees stepped in.

Burbank coach Robert Romero was pleased that his team played with a fierceness and kept their focus.

“I liked that they kept their composure and played with more intensity than usual,” he said. “I also really liked that we kept their offense to a minimum, allowing very few shots on goal. Another shutout is great to see.”

Burroughs coach Makan Afzali was happy for the seniors despite the setback.

“We gave it all out for our seniors,” he said. “Tough game for both teams, but one better shot made the difference.”

Burroughs junior Jason Mejia accounted for the first shot in the first minute from 15 yards, but then the Bulldogs rattled off seven straight.

They included senior Giancarlos Vitery Suman also in the initial minute from 18 yards and a 25-yarder in the first minute from senior Davit Stepanyan.

It was a close match between Burroughs and Burbank, which prevailed 1-0. (Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

Stepanyan added a 23-yarder in the second minute and senior Erik Gharibian tossed in a 35-yarder in the fifth minute.

Junior George Atallah added a 25-yard shot in the sixth minute and Atallah had a 37-yarder in the eighth minute.

Vitery Suman capped the spree with a 27-yarder in the ninth minute.

The Bears (7-10-3 and 3-8-3 in league) fought back with three straight boots and came on a 30-yard free kick from sophomore Alex Loera in the 13th minute, a free kick from senior Daniel Proano in the 14th minute and Mejia’s 32-yarder in the 17th minute.

Burbank sophomore Erik Antanesyan’s bicycle kick from 15 yards in the 24th minute was impressive, but it came up short.

The Bears then collected three consecutive kicks and they came from Proano on a 35-yarder in the 25th minute, from senior Mani Hooshivar in the 26th minute and a 25-yard free kick in the 28th minute from junior Dominic Quijada.

Burbank ended the first half with three attempts, and they were supplied by Stepanyan on a 27-yarder in the 32nd minute that was blocked two from Atallah on a 50-yard free kick in the 36th minute and a 25-yarder in extra time that sailed over the crossbar.

The second half commenced with the Bears getting two kicks and they were in the 41st minute from Proano on a 47-yard free kick and Quijada on a 42-yarder in the 47th minute.

Burbank senior Giancarlos Vitery Suman controls the ball against Burroughs in a Pacific League match. (Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

The Bulldogs (10-7-3 and 6-5-3 in league) interrupted this run when Atallah had a 20-yarder in the 52nd minute.

In the 55th minute, Proano added a 23-yarder and in the 59th minute, the Bears’ junior Joseph Earl tacked on a 25-yarder.

Burbank sophomore Rigoberto Garcia chipped in with a 27-yard shot in the 62nd minute.

The Bears ended the match with five straight attempts, and they were made by Mejia from 35 yards in the 68th minute while Loera added a 15-yarder in the 71st minute.

Quijada’s 18-yard header was off target in the 72nd minute while Proano booted a 45-yard free kick in the 75th minute. Senior Michael Varela’s 27-yarder was also off in extra time.

In true rivalry fashion, neither Burbank or Burroughs gave up or backed down as the match went down to the wire.