An overtime goal by Uzair Ahmed capped Mounds View’s 3-2 upset of top-seeded Park Center in the Section 5AA playoffs on Saturday afternoon.
The No. 5 seeded Mustangs (9-7-1), who clipped Champion Park 2-1 in the quarterfinals Thursday, advanced to the finals against No. 3 St. Paul Central (17-1) on Tuesday at Central, 7 p.m.
Ahmed, at full speed, gathered in a long pass from Joseph Swallen to score 4:01 into the second overtime, firing a strong shot under the goalkeeper.
“Our team showed a lot character today. We came back from one goal down and rallied in overtime after a late goal (by then),” commented coach Joe Warren. “Our passing has been sharp and our defense has been solid in the section tournament.”
In cold, snowy weather and wind gusts up to 30 mph, Park Center had the wind at their backs in the first half, scored early and sent several long balls to their attackers.
The Mustangs had the wind in the second half and scored two quick goals for a 2-1 lead. Swallen, soph midfielder, deflected a corner kick from Bijan Asadi into the back of the net in the 42nd minute. Zach Zengue, midfielder, fired the ball into the back in the 46th minute.
The Pirates scored on a well-executed header off a corner kick in the 78th minute to force overtime.
Mounds View has made 15 state trips, most recently in 2017. St. Paul Central is the defending section champion.
(Report provided by Jim DeMay)