Jaime Quiroz deflected Gerry Thermal’s free kick in the 79th minute for the winner, capping Valley Stream Central’s climb out of a two-goal deficit in the final 10 minutes for a 4-3 victory in a Nassau AA-II/AA-IV crossover.
Quiroz added two assists, and Thermal netted the equalizer in the 78th minute. Quiroz assisted the goal that sparked the comeback, throwing in from the right side and setting up Olivier Previl’s header.
“To be honest with you, I was thinking go for the tie,” Valley Stream Central coach Lenny Fiorentino said. “I’m just like let’s take the tie. It’s Oceanside. They’re in first place in the [Nassau AA-II] conference.”
But even after the Eagles improbably tied the score at 3, they kept applying pressure and earned the free kick in the 79th minute. Quiroz got just enough of his foot on the ball to alter its path and send it into the net.
“I knew the minute Jaime was moving toward the ball he was going to do something,” Fiorentino said. “The keeper was moving one way and Jaime deflected it the other way.”
Oceanside (2-1-1) eliminated Valley Stream Central (3-1) in a play-in game last year, so the Eagles came out seeking revenge.
“That was the first thing that came to mind,” Fiorentino said. “I was like, you know what? This is great because this is a throwback at Oceanside. I’ll tell you something, it was incredible.”