This season has been a redemption tour for South Sioux City. After losing to Elkhorn South in the Class B state championship last year, they’re looking to get back to the state title game.
But they had to beat top-seeded Gretna first.
Coach Gonzalez and the Cardinals were coming off a 1-0 win over Schuyler in the quarterfinal round.
South Sioux controlled possession in the first half. A free kick sailed high for Benjamin Plascencia Renteria. The Cardinals were getting good looks early.
Their best look came a little later. Off an Edwin Macias steal, Martin Zamora Pagua shoots it off the side of his foot. The Cardinals stayed aggressive.
Just before the half, another free kick, and Michael Virgen’s shot just stopped by the goalkeeper. There was no score at halftime.
That changed in the second half. The Cardinals broke through, as Plascencia Renteria scored on an assist from Zamora Pagua.
That was, again, the game-winning goal. South Sioux is headed back to the Class B title game with a 1-0 victory.
"I saw my boy Martin flick the ball over, just like we practice at home, and I went for the ball and just shot it to see what would happen and it got in," said Plascencia Renteria, a senior. "Everything froze. That goal was for my little sister up there."
"I always talk about it with the boys, they knew that they wanted it, so all through the season they’ve been talking about that, they’re not happy how that ended, they felt they should’ve had that championship, so they worked hard," said South Sioux City head coach Jose Gonzalez. "Their commitment has been there all season."
South Sioux will play Elkhorn South for its second state championship at 5:00 P.M. on Tuesday. It will be a rematch of the 2017 title game, won by the Storm in overtime, 3-2.