Indians in D-II title game: Cordoba’s OT goal lifts IR 1-0

DOVER — A volley wasn’t the first thing on Johan de jesus Cordoba’s mind.

But the way the ball bounced to him, it was the only way he could score.

Cordoba scored the only goal of the night, volleying a blast off the bounce in the second overtime to give top seed Indian River High a 1-0 victory over 12th seed St. Georges on Wednesday night at Dover High in the semifinals of the Division II boys’ soccer state tournament.

“I got lucky actually, the ball just crept through, I took a touch, not the best one and took it to my last resort and just tried to volley it,” Cordoba said. “I just got lucky.”

The Indians will play third seed Tower Hill School in the state title game at 5 p.m. Saturday at Smyrna High.

Photos Special to the Delaware State News/Doug Curran

Indian River is looking for its second state championship in as many seasons and its third in four years.

Cordoba, a senior forward, came close to finding a winner multiple times, like most of the Indian River players.

The Indians were stymied by some great saves by St. Georges goalie Troy Fitzgerald. And when they did beat Fitzgerald, there was always something else getting in the Indians way.

Cordoba had probably the best chance to win the game when he stood over a free kick in the first overtime period. He took the kick quickly, before St. Georges could set up its defense but it curled right into the post and bounced out.

Indian River also booted a rebound over the net and Fitzgerald palmed a corner kick over the bar a few minutes later in the first overtime.

The moment finally came when Cordoba took a pass from Mikie Mochiam. Cordoba fired as the ball was in the air near his midsection and was able to steer it into the ent.

“We struggled the whole game to score so it was really satisfying to finally get that goal in there,” Cordoba said. “It was nerve-wracking. We didn’t know who was going to win and it came down to the end.”

Salesianum 8, Sussex Central 0: The defending state champion Sals scored two goals in the opening two minutes and six in the first half on their way to a semifinal victory over Sussex Central High in the Division I state tournament.

Sallies, the top seed, advanced to the state championship to play second seed Appoquinimink. The final is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at Smyrna.

Sussex Central, the fourth seed and Henlopen Conference Northern Division champions, finished its season at 14-5 overall.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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