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2005 Season Playoffs
Des Moines captures PDL title in seven rounds of penalties
USL News Release
Saturday, August 13, 2005
EL PASO, TX -- Despite numerous dangerous chances, the 2005 PDL championship between the Des  Moines Menace and El Paso Patriots was decided in a dramatic seven-round penalty kick showdown with the visiting Menace prevailing in the tiebreaker 6-5 in front of 6,792 after a scoreless 120-minute game.

The match was a back-and-forth affair as Des Moines and El Paso, two of the league's most dangerous clubs, were unable to find the final touch in 120 minutes of play to make the difference.

A dramatic match that saw several good stops by both goalkeepers also saw an intense finish in the tiebreaker.

El Paso's Rodrigo Morin had his shot from the spot stopped by Menace goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum in the second round to give Des Moines the advantage.

Des Moines' Cody Kother stepped up in the fifth round with the score level and sent his potential winner off the crossbar, banging down on the wrong side of the goalline, sending the the tiebreaker into sudden death tied 4-4 after five rounds.

Both sides saw their sixth round shots find net but Daniel Casteneda's shot in the seventh was not far enough to the left for a diving Gruenebaum, who made the critical stop. Luke Frieberg knocked home the winner to give the Menace, in their 12th season, the championship.

Six minutes into the match, Des Moines' Justin McGeeney took a tough angle shot from six yards out on the left side that missed just wide at the far post.

In the 23rd minute, 2005 PDL MVP Daniel Frias got away for El Paso before laying it back to Morin, who ripped a 20 yard shot at Gruenebaum. 

Six minutes later two-time league MVP Tomas Boltnar, at the top of the six, tried to sneak a cross past El Paso goalkeeper Jimmy Garcia on the volley, but the low ball went right to Garcia.

Frias ripped a shot from the top of the box just over the bar in the 31st.

A deflection off of El Paso defender Esteban Palacios in the 51st gave Michael Kraus and the Menace the first opportunity of the second half eight yards from goal, but Palacios recovered to beat Kraus to the ball for the clearance.

The closest chance of the game game at the hour mark with McGeeney ripping a long shot from just inside the 18 on the left that just struck off the front of the crossbar and down on the wrong side of the goalline.

A minute into stoppage time at the end of regulation, a long ball forward from Gruenebaum was punched out by Garcia, who collided with a pair of players awaiting the ball in the box. The ball fell to Armin Mujdzic, whose shot to the near post was cleared off the line by Carlos Dominguez at the left post.

Two minutes into overtime Gruenebaum made a nice aggresive play, coming out to knock the ball off Frias' feet 12 yards from goal as he was driving in on the attack.

Two minutes later Frias found himself once again in all alone after stealing the ball from Frieberg at the top of the box only to see his shot stopped by Gruenebaum, who was named the PDL Championship Most Valuable Player.

Mujdzic got behind the Patriots defense six minutes into extra time and struck a tough shot that Garcia got a hand on to knock away.

Penalty Summary

EP: Jimmy Garcia
DM: Andy Gruenebaum

EP: Miguel Larrosa - Goal (inside right post just past oustretched Gruenebaum)
DM: Tomas Boltnar - Goal (to the right as Garcia went left)

EP: Rodrigo Morin - Save (middle-left for easy Gruenebaum save)
DM: Armin Mujdzic - Goal (upper left corner)

EP: Daniel Frias - Goal (roller inside left post as Gruenebaum went right)
DM: Jesse Baker - Goal (to the left as Garcia went right)

EP: Hugo Samano - Goal (upper right side as Gruenebaum went left)
DM: Matt Wieland - Goal (inside left post)

EP: Omar Mora - Goal (inside left post as Gruenebaum went right)
DM: Cody Kother - Miss (off crossbar and down on the outside of the line)

EP: Paul Cabrera - Goal (left side as Gruenebaum went right)
DM: Corey Farabi - Goal (down the middle left as Garcia went right)

EP: Daniel Casteneda - Save (to the left stopped by diving Gruenebaum)
DM: Luke Frieberg - Goal (to the middle right as Garcia went left)