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El Camino Real High School's bid to honor fallen goalkeeper Francisco “Pancho” Rodriguez fell two games shy of the mark. The second-seeded Conquistadores were upset Thursday by Narbonne in the CIF Los Angeles City Section boys soccer playoffs.
Alfonso Moreno's 71st-minute goal lifted Gardena's Narbonne (16-6-4), which will play at third-seeded San Fernando (20-2-3) in Tuesday's semifinals, a rematch of the 2010 title game won by the team from the San Fernando Valley. The seventh-seeded Gauchos, who beat ECR in last year's playoffs, have won nine successive games.
El Camino Real (20-5-4), from Woodland Hills, has been on a mission since Rodriguez, the starting goalkeeper, was shot to death Jan. 11 outside his home after a West Valley League victory over Taft of Woodland Hills. The Conquistadores rallied to tie the score on Lucas Ladek's goal before halftime, and Moreno finished from Byron Rivera's pass to lift the South Bay school.
ECR walked off the field in disappointment. “We really wanted that ring,” senior midfielder Danny Cruz told the Los Angeles Daily News. “We wanted to get it for Pancho.”
San Fernando extended its unbeaten streak to 12 games, beating Jefferson on penalties after a scoreless draw. The other semifinal will pit top-seeded Bell, a 1-0 winner over Palisades, against Fremont, which routed Belmont, 3-0.
SEEING RED: Foshay Learning Center on Thursday upset Annenberg, eliminating the top-seeded team in Small Schools division to advance to next week's semifinals.
The result was reversed, and Annenberg reinistated, on Friday morning. The reason: a red card.
Foshay head coach Bartolomo Perez was ejected during the quarterfinal match, and that's a real no-no in the City Section.
Section rules, assistant commissioner Vicky Lagos said, state that when a soccer head coach is red-carded -- it happens -- that the game automatically is forfeited. The referees misapplied the rule, she said, and the game played to its conclusion, a draw, with Foshay outfiring the Panthers from the spot.
Annenberg, which is located on the other side of the Harbor Freeway from the Coliseum, will be home for Tuesday's semifinal against East Valley, from North Hollywood. The other Small Schools matchup has Van Nuys' Fulton College Prep visiting second-seeded Sun Valley.
Here are Thursday's City Section scores:
CIF LOS ANGELES CITY SECTION
Bell 1, Palisades (Pacific Palisades) 0
Fremont (Los Angeles) 3, Belmont (Los Angeles) 0
San Fernando 0, Jefferson (Los Angeles) 0, OT (San Fernando advances on penalties, 5-3)
Narbonne (Gardena) 2, El Camino Real (Woodland Hills) 1
Fremont at Bell
Narbonne at San Fernando
Annenberg (Los Angeles) 2, Foshay Learning Center (Los Angeles) 0 (forfeit)
East Valley (North Hollywood) 2, Academia Avance (Highland Park) 1
Fulton College Prep (Van Nuys) 5, Camino Nuevo (Loss Angeles) 0
Sun Valley 3, Los Angeles CES 1
East Valley at Annenberg
Fulton at Sun Valley