OAKLAND — Tegra Mbele kick-started a Lewiston celebration.

Mbele’s second goal of the game, with about a minute left in the first overtime session, gave the Blue Devils a 3-2 victory over Deering in the Class A boys’ soccer state championship game Saturday at Messalonskee High.

“It’s very happy for me to score two goals,” Mbele said through teammate and translator Aristarque Meli. “It brings me joy to score in a final like this.”

It’s the Blue Devils’ fourth state title, joining those they won in 2015, ’17 and ’18.

This championship comes 17 days after a mass shooting in Lewiston that killed 18 people and wounded 13 others.

“We have been saying the past few weeks, ‘Do it for the city,'” Lewiston goalie Payson Goyette said. “It feels great to win for the city and bring some good to the city.”


After Mbele’s shot curled inside the far post, he ran to the a corner flag, where he was mobbed by his teammates and some members of the Lewiston student section.

He was glad to send the fans into a frenzy.

“It was the joy we brought to the fans, which made them go crazy,” Mbele said. “We just wanted to give back to the city with all they have gone through. It brings me great joy, and to everyone who made it happen.”

Lewiston Coach Dan Gish said he couldn’t believe the scene after the goal.

“Oh, my God, that was insane,” Gish said. “It was awesome; it was euphoric.”

Mbele also scored the first goal of the game. He was stopped in the ninth minute by Deering goalie Adao Lufumbo-Mbenza, but two minutes later, Mbele put a shot inside the far post for a 1-0 lead.


“We have been working on his finish all year, and boy did he finish,” Gish said of Mbele.

Deering Coach Joel Costigan said Lewiston (15-2-1) excelled at transitioning the ball from one side of the field to the other.

“We were a little unprepared for that in the beginning,” Costigan said. “We made some adjustments, though. It’s a hard game to play. The entire game, we were getting tired, and when a team is this fast, as Lewiston and can transition on you, it requires a lot of discipline.”

Goyette made back-to-back point-blank saves in the 16th minute to keep Lewiston in front.

“I knew they like to play through balls,” Goyette said. “The defense did a good job of keeping them away from the middle. I cut down their angle and did what I had to do.”

After a Deering player was tackled in the box, however, Ethan Fischer converted a penalty kick in the 19th minute.


“It felt good to make it 1-1 after they scored on us pretty quick, and kind of get our team’s head back into the game,” Fisher said. “If we hadn’t, we would have fallen into a slump.”

Deering had another scoring chance five minutes later, but the ball hit the right post.

Mohamed Gabow put Lewiston up 2-1 when he tracked down a long volley, got some separation from the Deering defender and kicked a line drive past Lufumbo-Mbenza.

Deering tied the score in the 16th minute of the second half. Chandral Mangele-Laza fought through two Lewiston defenders into the 18-yard box and put a shot past Goyette.

Costigan said Mangele-Laza has been making an impact despite playing with an injury since mid-October.

“Ever since the first Portland regular-season game, he has been battling a groin injury,” Costigan said. “He’s been playing through it. And he has a fraction of his normal speed, but he still has the knack of scoring, which we saw.”


Deering created a few more scoring chances in regulation. In the 24th minute of the second half, a shot went wide. Seven minutes later, Goyette stopped Basel Allhaidan’s 25-yard direct kick.

The Rams had had multiple direct and indirect kicks in the final minutes of regulation, but the Blue Devils held on to force overtime.

“We kind of exposed a little bit of their backs,” Costigan said. “We were able to get our center midfielders higher to help our forwards. The problem was recovering. Once you get guys forward, you have to recover. Lewiston did a good job transitioning right away, finding the guy that was open and forward. We had to be dropping, but we weren’t dropping quick enough.”

Fisher, a junior, said he will cherish the memories of the Rams’ Class A North championship season.

“It was wicked fun. I look forward to playing high school soccer, just because of this atmosphere ,” Fisher said. “It’s fun to play with friends from other schools. Lewiston has a great team and they really deserve this win.”

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