Goals from Alex Millones and Anselmo Tela were just enough to allow the Portland boys’ soccer team to edge South Portland, 2-1, in a Class A South quarterfinal Tuesday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

The fourth-ranked Bulldogs, who gave up four goals in a loss at fifth-ranked South Portland a month ago, had to hold on after a late goal from Red Riots’ captain Anthony Perron. They improved to 11-3-1 and advanced to face either top-ranked Gorham or eighth-seeded Westbrook in Saturday’s semifinal round.

“Coming into this one, that first game (against South Portland) played in the back of our heads, that they put a four-spot on us, but it was grit and trust tonight and I liked the way we played,” said Portland Coach Rocco Frenzilli.

In the 12th minute, the Bulldogs went on top to stay as Tela one-touched the ball to Millones at the top of the box for a blast just inside the near post which South Portland goalkeeper Corey Gagne couldn’t reach.

“That was just instinct,” said Millones. “The ball came in and I just hit it. We had a nice connection.”

After Tela had a goal waved off later in the first half for being offsides, he got one that counted with 32:55 left in regulation. After a long serve deflected off a defender and Tela pounced on the ball, he made a nice back heel move past one defender, drove around another, then fired into the far right side of the cage to make it 2-0.

“It was frustrating when that first goal didn’t count, but I just used it as fuel,” said Tela. “I got another chance and I took it. I’ve played soccer all my life, so all I had to do was knock it in.”

The Red Riots (10-5-1) saved their best soccer for last and with 6:50 remaining, Perron got the ball in traffic, turned and ripped a low shot past Portland goalkeeper Henry Flynn (three saves) to give his team life.

South Portland got a corner kick and Perron had a chance to force overtime with just over two minutes to play, but his shot was just high and the Bulldogs held on to advance to the semifinals for the fourth year in a row.

“I’m happy for the guys because we knew it would be tough,” Frenzilli said. “Now we’re playing with house money.”

Portland finished with a 13-4 shots advantage and a 6-2 edge in corner kicks.

South Portland got 11 saves from Gagne.

“We put a lot of pressure on them at the end,” said South Portland Coach Bryan Hoy. “We had plenty of chances, especially in the second half. We didn’t get a ton of shots, but we were right there.

“Portland’s a really good team and our conference is loaded. The eight teams playing in the quarterfinals, anyone could win it. You don’t see that in other (regions).”

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