VAN NUYS — It was tough to determine which were more intense Thursday, the Grant-Reseda boys' soccer match or the bizarre events after it ended.
The final score of the Valley Pac-8 Conference match was 1-1, with Reseda's Alex Acevado scoring in the 73rd minute to salvage the tie.
It was a rough-and-tumble afternoon, Reseda (7-5-2, 7-3-2 in conference play) getting hit with four yellow cards, the host Lancers (10-3-5, 5-2-5) with three.
And with one minute left, a player from each team drew a red card.
And afterward, opposing players, coaches and school administrators exchanged words.
First, a pair of Reseda players verbally opened fire on the referees for what they felt was a poorly called match.
The Reseda players were further angered when Grant Coach Frank Ortiz said the calls went both ways.
Ortiz then told the Reseda coaching staff that a Reseda player jumped a fence after the match and apparently did not go home on the team bus.
City Section rules mandate that visiting players must return to school on the team bus unless they have written permission to do otherwise.
Reseda Athletic Director Norman Weiler, who was in attendance, told Ortiz that the player in question, Ronald Mondragon, had permission.
On the field, Grant controlled the first half, scoring in the 14th minute on a nice effort by Salvador Santana.
Santana backed in a defender, wheeled and shot the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Alex Murcia.
Reseda, which played without injured midfielder Marvin Quijano, mustered only three shots on goal in the first half, but awoke midway through the second half.
In the 61st minute, William Diaz almost converted a header, but was stopped by Grant goalkeeper Franklin Montiel.
Montiel, however, could not stop Acevado 12 minutes later.
At midfield, Mondragon controlled a Grant turnover and passed the ball to Acevado, who scored from a tough angle on the left side.
Diaz and Grant's David Alvarez shoved each other near the end of the match, drawing red cards and automatic suspensions from their next match.
"This was the most physical game of the year," Santana said.
Both teams are still chasing Sylmar (11-1-3, 9-1-2), but Reseda remained in second place with the tie.
"My boys came through in the second half," Reseda Coach Julio Castillo said. "I'm happy for that."