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RAF ALCONBURY, England — In America, the game is called soccer. Europeans call it football.

But the name of the game Sunday afternoon at RAF Alconbury was “defense.”

After a scoreless 90 minutes of regulation and around 20 minutes of overtime, player/coach Lauro Obeada scored to give Vicenza a 1-0 victory over Heidelberg, giving the team from Italy the U.S. Forces soccer championship.

“They left me open, and they paid a price,” said Obeada, who scored halfway through the second 15-minute overtime period. His goal ended play.

The earlier game for third place was equally defensive. Ramstein topped Spangdahlem on penalty kicks, 5-3, after the two teams from Germany ended regulation with nothing but zeros in the scorebook. No overtime periods were played in that game.

The title game between Vicenza, which plays as the Southern European Task Force Lions, and Heidelberg, the defending champs, was a tough affair with few shots on goal. Players bounced into one another going after loose balls, and headers flew fast and furious across the center line.

But neither team mounted a sustained attack, which did not surprise the man who scored the winning goal.

“Two teams evenly matched,” Obeada said.

For Vicenza, the victory was a measure of payback. The two teams tied earlier in the year, and Heidelberg beat Vicenza with a late goal to win the Army’s European championship 2-1.

“Now we finally got them,” Vicenza captain Marco Hakama said.

Vicenza won this event two years ago, but most of the team was deployed to Iraq last year, so it was unable to make a successful defense of its title.

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