Fullerton, CA- Although they were outshot 17-8, Hope International made the most of their chances and beat Biola 1-0 on Tuesday afternoon. Zach Hoffer headed home the lone goal on an assist from Edgar Bran.
In the first 20 minutes of the game, the Eagles (8-5-1, 4-3 GSAC) controlled the ball and pace of the game. They outshot the Royals 6-2 while attempting three corner kicks as well.
After the first 20 minutes, the match balanced out in a big way as HIU would only allow one more shot the rest of the half.
Hope International took just three shots themselves the remainder of the half but had the most dangerous opportunity. Following a Biola foul, Juan-Carlos Rodriguez served a line drive free kick into the box toward the back post. Mario Perez was crashing the net but was unable to redirect the ball enough to stick it in the net sending the ball wide right of the goal.
The score remained 0-0 heading into the break.
The first eighteen minutes of the second half resembled the beginning of the game as Biola once again controlled the tempo and outshot the Royals 6-0 with three more corner kicks.
And just like the first half as well, the Royals (9-5-1, 3-3-1 GSAC) then started connecting on the Eagles' end of the field. Back-to-back corner kicks by Hoffer in the 64th minute really seemed to give HIU a little edge.
Bran hit a free kick wide of the goal in the 71st minute.
Two and half minutes later, Bran did not miss wide when he lofted a free kick floater toward the penalty spot from forty yards straight out. Hoffer went up in traffic, out jumped his defender, and flicked the ball back toward the net. Biola's goalkeeper Joshua Crichton, who was about six yards out, jumped to deflect the shot out of bounds but could not get enough of the ball and into the goal the header carried. For Hoffer it was his fourth goal of the season.
With a lead in their pocket, the Royals started to pack in a little tighter on defense. In the 82nd minute, HIU received a red card and playing a man short packed in even tighter for the final 8 minutes.
The last shot of the game came in the 84th minute from Biola's Daniel Chew but the shot went right into the hands of goalkeeper Jhovany Hernandez. Hernandez finished the game with 5 saves on his way to his GSAC leading eighth shutout on the season.
Head Coach Earl Alexander stated, "We fought well. We were composed, organized, and handled the pressure at the end. We exploited space and possession for a well deserved win."
Next on the schedule for the Royals is a trip to Vanguard on Saturday. Kick-off is set for 6:00 pm in Costa Mesa. On Saturday, Biola will host Concordia at 7:00 pm in La Mirada.