Late-game heroics from Hugo Janssen led the Red Deer College Kings’ soccer team to its first victory of the season.
Janssen kicked home the game-winner in extra time, as the Kings beat the Olds College Broncos 2-1 in Red Deer’s home-opener on Saturday.
After a scoreless first half, Red Deer’s Theoren Gill opened things up in the 49th minute, beating Broncos goalkeeper Julio Cesar Meirelles on a penalty kick.
Olds College had a few scoring chances as the second half wore on.
“In the last couple minutes we weren’t playing so well and we were kind of sloppy,” said Janssen.
The Broncos eventually scored later in the half after pouring on pressure and banging home a rebound.
Right when is seemed the game was destined for a draw, Janssen saw an opening as the ball rolled towards the Broncos net.
“The ball was pretty far ahead and I didn’t think I was going to catch up to their player. But I kind of outmuscled him, took my chance and scored. It was crazy,” he said.
Roughly a minute after the goal in extra time, the game ended.
Wade Groenewegen, Kings head coach, said Janssen’s goal was a dramatic finish to a tight matchup.
“That’s what they make movies out of,” Groenewegen said. “It’s not great for a coach’s heart, but the win was great – we needed one.”
Janssen was unable to play in the team’s last game against Medicine Hat due to an ankle injury.
“We even thought about pulling him out of the game at points today, but he said he wanted to hang in there and … we’re sure glad he did,” Groenewegen said.
After an 0-2 start to the season – a pair of 3-0 losses to Lethbridge and Medicine Hat – it’s good to get into the win column, he said.
The team is getting better at playing faster, Groenewegen added.
“We have to continue to play at that high pace. We need to make the same good decisions, just faster and more of them,” he said.
The Kings are back in action on Saturday, as the team hosts SAIT Polytechnic at 2 p.m. at the Red Deer College soccer field.