Air Force, Navy win to advance to Armed Forces Men's Soccer Championship Match

By Armed Forces Sports U.S. Armed Forces Sports

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Air Force and Navy solidified their spot in the championship match after wins in round two of the 2018 Armed Forces Men’s Soccer Championship held at Hedrick Stadium on Fort Bragg, N.C. on June 5.

In the first match of the evening, Air Force soared past the Marines winning 4-2 in a tough fought contest. 

Air Force Senior Airman Andrew Sanders of RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom scored during the 12th minute to put the Airmen on the board first. 

Marine Staff Sgt. Giovanny Calderon of Okinawa, Japan tied the match during the 20th minute, which kept the score tied through the final minutes of the match.

In the 81st and 86th minutes, Air Force Senior Airman Alexander Stilling of RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom and Staff Sgt. Joseph Haug of Holloman AFB, N.M. pushed the Air Force ahead two goals ahead of the Marines.

Calderon scored his second goal of the evening with a penalty kick in the 89th minute after Air Force goalie Senior Airman Benjamin Lockler of Grand Folks AFB, N.D. was issued a yellow card.

In an attempt to tie the match, the Marines lost control of the ball and Air Force capitalized on a three to one break away with 1st Lt. Andrew Belk scoring in the 90th minute to seal the deal. 

In the late match of the evening, Navy and Army woke up from a scoreless match within the final ten minutes of the contest. 

Petty Officer 3rd Class Orlando Zapatagarcia of Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. and Lt. Martin Sanchez of Washington, D.C. put Navy on the board in the 80th and 83rd minutes. 

With Navy safely in the lead, Army struck back when Sgt. Alan Ibarra of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. scored in the 90th minute before the match ended with Navy winning 2-1. 

Air Force and Navy’s wins through the second round earned them enough points to advance to the Championship match. Navy and Air Force will face each other in the third round to complete the round robin pool play on June 7. The championship match is set for June 9, at 5:00 p.m. at Hedrick Stadium. The Awards ceremony will commence shortly after the championship match. 

Follow the action live on YouTube at www.YouTube.com/USArmedForcesSports. Visit www.armedforcessports.defense.gov for complete coverage.