The 11th Engineer Battalion\'s Roger Cruz, left, and WHINSEC's Mario Garcia battle for the ball in Tuesday's opening round of the Preseason Commander's Cup Soccer Tournament at Doughboy Stadium. The Internationals, of WHINSEC, won

The Internationals defeated the Jungle Cats Team One 4-2 in the opening round of the Preseason Commander's Cup Soccer Tournament Tuesday at Doughboy Stadium to advance in the winners' bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

Both teams missed early scoring opportunities until Jungle Cat Alla Jabu Amaz of the 11th Engineer Battalion scored the first goal 10 minutes into the first half. The Internationals' Jeffrey Lopez, of Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, tied the score. And with three minutes remaining in the first half, Jose Guandique broke the stalemate to give the Internationals the lead 2-1 at the half.

In the second half, the Internationals increased their lead to 3-1 with a goal by Rodrigo Urrutia, but seven minutes later, the Jungle Cats answered with a goal. Urrutia scored another goal to seal a 4-2 win for the Internationals.

"They were a tough team, but we have been practicing and that has helped us a lot," said
Guandique, the Internationals' coach. "We worked as a team."

Guandique said the preseason championship is a good way to "scope out" who the competition will be in the regular season. The Internationals' goalie Arturo Raygoza said the preseason tournament is always competitive.

"It's a friendly sport, but there is always that competitive edge because everyone wants to win," he said. "When they scored the second goal, I thought we needed to do better. We lost focus but we came back, played our lanes and kept the ball close."

Nine teams from post will fight for a chance for the preseason title.

Games are at Doughboy Stadium starting at 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and the championship game is at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday. Spectators are welcome.

Page last updated Thu March 25th, 2010 at 16:50