CLEARWATER — Clearwater and East Lake will meet Wednesday afternoon in the final of a Thanksgiving tournament being played at the Eddie C. Moore Soccer Complex in Clearwater.
East Lake, a favorite to win the eight-team tourney, escaped Group A by the slimmest of margins. The Eagles and Sarasota Riverview entered their Tuesday meeting tied atop the group at 2-0-0. Both teams also held a plus-6 goal differential.
After playing a back-and-forth match, the teams eventually drew on Tuesday, 3-3. East Lake's Josh Page netted a pair of goals and Alex Carbonelli scored one and assisted on Page's second. That latter goal gave the Eagles a 3-2 lead with only about eight minutes left to play. The equalizer came when Riverview's Greg Atkin headed a throw-in from Ramon Elliott past East Lake's keeper.
East Lake got the nod to move on because it edged Riverview in total goals scored, 12-11.
Clearwater took a more conventional route to the championship match. The Tornadoes got an early second-half goal from Hugo Garcia and held on to beat Palm Harbor University, 1-0. Clearwater needed a victory to move on.
The final will be a rematch of the teams' Nov. 5 game won by East Lake, 4-0.
Bloomingdale and King played the other boys game Tuesday afternoon, tying 3-3. Osceola and Seminole were also scheduled to play at 6 p.m., but both decided to cancel since they were already eliminated.
On the girls side, East Lake and needs a win or tie against Wharton to advance to Wednesday's final. The Eagles are 1-0-1 and tied with Steinbrenner (1-1-1) with 4 points. Wharton heads into its East Lake match at 0-2-0 and having been outscored 7-2.
Flagler Palm Coast and Seminole played concurrently Tuesday night to decide Group B. Both teams are 2-0-0, but Seminole held a two-goal advantage in differential. That means Palm Coast needs a win and Seminole could advance with a draw.
The boys and girls championship matches will begin at 11 a.m. tomorrow.