A year ago they were overmatched. This time they gave Monterrey a competitive match.

The Rayados Sub 20s scored two goals in the first half and added another in the second half to defeat East Texas United 3-1 Sunday in the Second Annual Futbol de las Rosas held at Grace Community’s Clyde-Perkins Stadium.

In the first Futbol de las Rosas, the East Texas team was no match for the professional reserve team from Mexico, allowing five first-half goals en route to an 8-0 thumping at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

In the return engagement in front of 2,000 spectators mainly supporting East Texas, the home team fell behind 2-0 in the first 18 minutes, but steadied its defense and grabbed a goal on an unassisted tally from Lindale’s Alan Arroyo to make it 2-1 at halftime.

In the second half both teams had chances with Monterrey capitalizing on theirs to reestablish a two-goal lead. East Texas sent wave after wave toward Monterrey’s box in the second half, but could only get one shot on target, which was saved.

Despite the loss, East Texas coach Alberto Ortega said his team accomplished its main goal — proving it belonged on the same pitch at Monterrey.

“It was a very hard-fought game, but overall we feel we did a good job against this really good team,” Ortega said. “You can tell the difference between this year and last year, but you also have to take into account that they’ve played together for years and we had two months to prepare this team, so we think we did a good job.”

The total shots ended up about even — 12-8 to Monterrey — but East Texas only had two shots on goal.

Monterrey used its speed down the wings with Rayados players keeping the ball long enough to cross into wide-open teammates. Two of those ended up as goals with Alan Soria and Erickson Llanes finding the back of the net. Monterrey’s other goal, and first of the match, came on a great cross into the box that was headed in by Santiaga Rivera.

“Our priority was possession and then looking for opportunities out wide to get around (them),” said Monterrey coach Raul Chabrand.

East Texas nearly grabbed a 1-0 lead in the opening minutes when Monterrey’s goalkeeper was caught out of position trying to start an attack. East Texas gained possession and Victor Armendariz (UT Tyler) blasted a shot from 25 yards away against an open net while their keeper scrambled back, but it went wide.

Another long-range effort by Sergio Perez (Lon Morris) forced a save, but Monterrey soon turned its first real possession into the opening goal. Llanes provided the cross to Rivera, who headed it back across the goal, leaving ET keeper Juan Robles (TJC, SMU) no chance.

It took seven minutes for Monterrey to double its lead. This time Rivera was the provider, crossing into Soria for a tap-in goal.

East Texas was threatening though, and that persistence paid off. A shot from distance deflected to Arroyo, who was in the right place in front of goal and he dispatched it to make it 2-1.

East Texas could’ve tied it up just before the half when Serge Hermann (Coffeyville CC, Kansas) received the ball in front of goal with only the keeper to beat, but lost his footing before he could get his shot away.

Monterrey scored again in the second half, but Robles reiterated East Texas accomplished its main goal.

“I think we did really well; for the amount of time we had, I mean a few of us, like myself just came in here today,” Robles said. “I think we worked hard and played them (a competitive match). Definitely a better result than last year; we showed that we could play with them.”

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