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Burroughs soccer on brink of league title after win against Muir

Soccer: Indians defeat Mustangs, 2-1, and can clinch second straight championship with victory Thursday against Burbank.

February 11, 2014|By Nathan Cambridge, special to the Leader

BURBANK — With a win in its last game, coupled with a loss by Pasadena, the Burroughs High boys' soccer team rose back to the top of the Pacific League standings. But to ensure that they stayed there, the Indians would have to beat a scrappy fourth-place Muir squad that had won three straight contests.

The perch atop the league seemed perilous, as Burroughs trailed at the break, but the Indians got two second-half goals from striker Milosh Petko to pull out a 2-1 victory Tuesday afternoon at Memorial Field.

"That was a tough game. It was a very tough game," Burroughs Coach Mike Kodama said. "We got the two big goals from Milosh to come back. We had to keep our composure and just play for the moment."

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The comeback win for Burroughs (15-3-4, 10-1-2 in league) — ranked No. 6 in CIF Southern Section Division III — means the defending champion of the Pacific League now has 32 points and sole possession of the top spot with one game to go. This came to pass after Pasadena, the co-leader coming in, played Arcadia to a scoreless tie Tuesday, putting the Bulldogs at 30 points.

"Without this win, I don't think we would be [in the position to be] league champs," said Petko, who also scored Burroughs' only goal in a 1-0 win at Muir earlier this season. "So, we needed this win a lot. This is the biggest big game for us today."

The Indians can clinch their second straight league title with a victory against cross-town rival Burbank on Thursday.

The contest was deadlocked at 1-1 with just over eight minutes to play when Burroughs broke through to take the lead for the first time. Working on the left side going in, Indians midfielder Brandon Gerlach slid a pass through the Mustangs defense to Petko, who immediately shot the ball across the face off the goal and into the back of the net for the eventual game-winner.

"Brandon gave me a lovely ball," Petko said. "He saw it and he gave it to me. I just finished it. I can't let my team down. He gave me a beautiful ball and I've just got to finish that."

The Indians had trailed, 1-0, starting the second, on the strength of a Muir (6-8-1, 5-7-1) goal by Moises Sanchez with five minutes to go before halftime.

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