KENNEBUNK — One free kick goal was all it took for the Deering  boys’ soccer team to go where no Rams team has ever been.

One perfectly placed kick, by the Rams’ magic man Nick Simon Mboumba, and a whole lot of defensive effort across the pitch, that is.

Mboumba booted a kick from 30 yards out that sailed into the top right corner on a line with 17:01 left in the first half and Deering made it stand up to beat crosstown rival Portland, 1-0, in Wednesday’s Class A South regional final played in front of 1,200 fans at Kennebunk High.

“I was aiming for the top right but I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it went in,” Mboumba said.

Mboumba had also scored the game-winner with just 15 seconds left in the second overtime in the regional semifinal win against Falmouth.

“Everything is still magic for me and I hope that we can win at states because the job is not done,” said Mboumba.


Deering (12-3-2), which hadn’t played in a regional final since 1999, advances to its first boys’ soccer championship game and will face North winner Lewiston on Saturday at Messalonskee High in Oakland.

“Guys are just peaking at the right time,” said Deering Coach Joel Costigan. “There hasn’t been any drama and I just think guys want it.”

Mboumba, Costigan, and Deering co-captain Peter Sargent, a junior defensive midfielder, each also pointed to the Rams’ improved team chemistry as key reason they were able to accomplish a first for the program.

“Everyone is playing pickup soccer with each other,” Sargent said. “It’s just all those practices bring us together and our chemistry went up. And all season, just up pumping each other up during the game, which I don’t think we did that last year.”

Deering got the better of the play by a slight margin in the first half and that forward momentum helped create the free kick goal, which came after gritty and talented Portland defender Luis Ordonez-Franco was called for a foul when he collided with Deering’s fast and powerful forward Chandrel Mangele-Laza. Both players went down hard and had to come off the field, but it was Deering that benefited from the call.

Portland finished the season 13-3-1, with two losses to Deering, including 3-1 in the regular season. The Bulldogs were 1-3-1 in games where they allowed a goal.

Neither team was able to generate much in the way of true scoring chances during the run of play. Portland keeper Calvin Hale had the save of the game when he deflected another free kick bid, this one from Nathan Dimandya, in the second half. Deering keeper Adao Lufumbo-Mbenza, who like Hale made three saves, did his job when he handled a long free kick chance by Ronan Mas early in the second half.

Both Portland and Deering had won their first two games in extra time, Deering beating Kennebunk and Falmouth in double overtime, Portland winning against Scarborough in double overtime and taking out No. 1 Windham in penalty kicks.

“I thought the play from box to box was even,” said Portland Coach Rocco Frenzilli. “There were times when it looked like they carried play. There were also times when it looked like we carried play. We just couldn’t put one together, that’s all. When we look back at this season, yeah, the one loss in the conference final but tremendously exciting wins in the quarterfinal and the semifinals to get here.”

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