MILFORD — Hamden boys’ soccer coach Joaquin Rodriguez has been looking for his team to play a complete game. Lately, the Green Dragons have started quickly and fallen late.
While Hamden did not give Rodriguez the complete game he was looking for, the Green Dragons did reverse their trend.
Falling behind by a goal in the first half, Hamden scored three times in the final 40 minutes to defeat Foran 3-1 at the Vito DeVito Sports Complex Thursday afternoon.
“Basically, we have been really good in the first half and then we don’t follow that,” Rodriguez said after his team improved to 2-3-4. “Finishing out games has been a big issue for us. We have to figure out a way to play a whole game with intensity.
“They picked themselves up. They realized we were not going to win playing like that. We turned it on in the second half.”
Trailing 1-0 as the second half started, Hamden needed just 1 minute, 26 seconds to even the game. Walter Fontes ripped a shot under the crossbar past Foran goalkeeper Timothy Orozco from 15 yards out.
Just 4:16 later, Hamden led for good. Alejandro Perez moved the ball in close, deked Orozco, and fired a shot to the lower-left corner for a 2-1 Hamden advantage.
“I told them at the half we had to match their (Hamden) intensity,” Foran coach Rick DiStefano said. “They (Hamden) had not played as I knew they could play.
“We lost track of No. 10 (Perez) for a few minutes and that hurt us. They did well putting it to the outside and they had success there.”
Foran (1-6-1), which lost its fourth straight game, had its opportunities to even the game but could not get a shot past Hamden goalkeeper Matt Wilson.
Trailing 2-1, Julian Yuliawan fed Cedrick Lingane but Lingane’s shot was denied by Wilson. Lingane then ripped a shot wide of the goal with 25:30 left in the game.
Hamden got the insurance goal it was looking for. With 14:32 remaining, Renzo Bermudez ripped a 40-yard shot that went just over the hand of Orozco into the top corner of the goal for a 3-1 Hamden lead.
The Green Dragons needed to rally as Foran had the better of the scoring opportunities in the first half and scored the only goal. Just 8:45 into the contest, Yuliawan took a feed from Lingane and beat Wilson over his outstretched hands for a 1-0 lead.
“It was nice to get a goal early,” DiStefano said. “When you score that early, you want another one. You want to settle the game down and we didn’t.”
The Lions’ Alexander Eager and Yuliawan could not convert 1:24 apart as Wilson denied Eager from 30 yards out with 24 minutes to go in the opening half and saw Yuliawan shoot over the goal from in front.
Hamden’s Andre Gidden had a pair of scoring opportunities in the first half, but did not convert. Gidden shot wide from 30 yards out 20 minutes in, then saw his loose ball in front tipped away with 2:20 to go in the first half.
Wilson made eight saves for Hamden, while Orozco finished with four saves.