SNELLVILLE -- Brookwood nearly gave one away on Tuesday night, missing numerous scoring opportunities in regulation and surviving for a 2-1 victory on penalty kicks against pesky Marietta in the first round of the Class AAAAA boys soccer playoffs at Brookwood Community Stadium.
The game was tied 1-1 after regulation and stayed that way through two five-minute overtime periods. The Broncos made four of their penalty kicks and clinched the victory when Adrian Alabi hit the left corner on the final attempt. Brookwood goalkeeper Alejandro Leonidas stopped one kick and forced another Marietta player to hit the crossbar.
"We controlled the game," said Brookwood coach Danny Klinect. "We missed too many chances. We shouldn't have put ourselves in that situation."
Brookwood (14-5) advances to play Centennial, a team it lost to during the regular season. Marietta's season ends at 7-6.
From the onset, it didn't look it was going to be a great night at Brookwood. The 8 p.m. start ensured the opening round of the Class AAAAA soccer playoffs would be played in unseasonably chilly temperatures. And when a half cup of water poured out of the scoreboard's electronic box, it forced officials to keep time on the field.
And the Broncos were unable to take advantage of their chances. Marietta was successful at playing the role of counterpuncher and prevented Brookwood from connecting with the knockout blow. Once it came down to penalty kicks, anything can happen.
"We'd been in that situation before," Leonidas said. "I knew I had to come up for my team."
Brookwood scored early in the second half in its first rush. Colin Hanley dropped a nice centering pass to Stefan Gojic, who drilled the ball past Marietta keeper Guilherme Viana, one of the few mistakes he made all evening.
The lead didn't last long. After Brookwood nearly scored another quick goal, the Blue Devils responded by tying the game. Rodrigo Dutra slipped past the Brookwood defense and fired a shot that ricocheted off the bottom of the left goal post and by Leonidas.
The Marietta defense was tough all night and turned away most of Brookwood's offensive thrusts. Much of the credit must go to Marietta defender Miles Johnson, who marked almost everyone who dared come through the front of the goal.
Brookwood's Erick Yang had a pair of shots stopped by Viana and Daniel Mohsen failed to get anything going with a pair of corner kicks. Alabi's direct kick late in the half was stopped without trouble.
After the exchange of goals early in the second half, Brookwood continued to apply the pressure. Alabi had a chance when he failed to put one past Viani in a one-on-one play. Gojic had another chance in front of the net, but Viani again came away with the save.
Marietta had a couple of chances late in the game. Dutra and Felipe Rochi each had a chance in front of the net, but failed to convert before time ran out and sent the game to overtime.
Brookwood was the aggressor in overtime, but missed on several chances. Mohsen and Alabi both missed opportunities in the first extra period and Walker Zimmerman and Alabi were both stopped in the second overtime.