GAINESVILLE — Two of the area’s premier boys soccer teams played to a 3-3 draw Friday night as Chestatee rallied from two goals down against Gainesville in the second half at City Park Stadium.
It was the season-opener for the Class 6A No. 2-ranked Red Elephants (0-0-1) while the Class 4A 10th-ranked War Eagles were coming off a 2-2 draw against Apalachee on Tuesday.
Gainesville took a 1-0 lead in the first half on a goal by Anthony Martinez. But Kevin Mendoza, off a feed from Yiovany Hernandez, tied the game for the War Eagles. The Red Elephants scored later in the first half when Anthony Alday's shot deflected off a Chestatee defender for a 2-1 halftime advantage.
Gainesville pushed its lead to 3-1 on Jose Aguilera's wild corner kick that ended with a Chestatee own-goal.
But the War Eagles rallied. Cristian Martinez blasted a free kick from the mid-line that found the back of the net and Jesse Nunez tied the game late.
The game finished that way as Chestatee’s Bryan Duran recorded 6 saves in goal.
Chestatee next will travel to Class A Private No. 10 Riverside Military Academy on Tuesday for their third straight match against a ranked team to open the season.
Gainesville (0-0-1) is off until playing host to White County on Friday.