BROWNSVILLE — With just 30 seconds remaining in regulation, the Brownsville Lopez Lobos seemed to have their tickets to the Region IV-5A final.

Then a foul inside the box occurred, giving San Antonio Southwest an opportunity to tie the game with a penalty kick.

For what seemed like an eternity, the Lobos watched as Southwest’s Ramiro Flores lined up for the possible equalizer.

The tie didn’t come, however, with the ball hitting the top post as the Lobos held on for a 2-1 win over the Dragons on Friday at Brownsville Sports Park.

The win sends the Lobos to a regional final for the first time since 2017, a season that ended for Lopez in a Class 5A state semifinal. They’ll take on Leander Glenn at noon today for a spot in next week’s state tournament.

Brownsville Lopez’s Armando Rodriguez, right, celebrates his second half goal against San Antonio Southwest on Friday at the Brownsville Sports Park in Brownsville. (Andrew Cordero | Special to RGVSports)

“I was praying for a miracle in that moment,” Lopez head coach Amadeo Escandon said. “God came through. The whole second half, I think we had our backs against the wall. Our defense would bend, but they would never break.”

The Lobos went on the attack from the start despite going against the wind, nearly taking the lead on several occasions early.

Lopez finally broke through during the 24th minute, with sophomore Diego Guerra powering a shot past the goalkeeper to give his team a 1-0 advantage.

Brownsville Lopez’s Diego Guerra (10) makes a move inside the box on a San Antonio Southwest defender during a Region IV-5A semifinal match Friday at the Brownsville Sports Park. (Victor Dominguez | Special to RGVSports)

“I saw my striker coming in for the shot, but it looked a little too high,” Guerra said. “I was there, ready for the second ball. It ended up missing him, so I just put it in with my right foot and the rest is history.”

A quick goal by Armando Rodriguez off a set piece during the 45th minute added to the Lobos’ lead early in the second half, making it 2-0 with just more than 35 minutes left.

The Dragons, who entered the contest averaging a blistering 5.3 goals per game, didn’t go down without a fight, cutting their deficit to one on a goal by Caleb Barajas during the 47th minute. The score came after having two called back due to offsides during the first half.

Southwest kept the pressure on the Lobos throughout the remainder of the half, almost tying the game on several shots despite going against the wind.

No shot came closer than their PK during the final minute, however, sailing just an inch too high and keeping Lopez in the lead.

The Dragons got one more opportunity during the final moments of regulation, earning a free kick with one second left, but it proved to be too little, too late with the clock expiring before they could get off a shot.

Brownsville Lopez players line up to defend a free kick during a Region IV-5A semifinal match Friday at the Brownsville Sports Park. (Andrew Cordero | Special to RGVSports)

The Lobos turn their attention to Leander Glenn, looking to keep their quest for their first state title since 2004 alive.

“It is a beautiful feeling,” Brownsville Lopez’s Jesus Hernandez said. “Last year we came so close, but we feel like this year is our year. Right now we’re happy, but we’re concentrated and ready for (today).”

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