WORTHINGTON -- In their first Section 2AA playoff game of the 2021 season Tuesday night, the Worthington High School boys soccer team started fast.

And that was exactly what head coach Juan Flores wanted.

“I think that’s the start we needed,” said Flores. “We needed to start fast and get going right away, and that’s what we did. You score within 60 seconds and the other team goes flat. But we still have a lot of things to work on.”

Worthington defeated visiting Jordan 5-0, getting four goals in the first half. The No. 1 seed of the tournament, now armed with a 17-0 record, will play in the section semifinals Thursday against fourth-seeded New Ulm at Trojan Field (7 p.m.). New Ulm beat New Prague 2-0 Tuesday in another quarterfinal game.

Also Tuesday, third-seeded Mankato East beat Marshall 4-1 and second-seeded Mankato West beat Hutchinson 8-1. The two Mankato teams will play in the other semifinal Thursday at Caswell Field in North Mankato.

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Worthington Trojans Menkem Mehri (8) drives down field pursued by Jordan Hubmen defender Will Major during Section 2AA boys quarterfinals Tuesday night at Trojan Field. Tim Middagh / The Globe
Worthington Trojans Menkem Mehri (8) drives down field pursued by Jordan Hubmen defender Will Major during Section 2AA boys quarterfinals Tuesday night at Trojan Field. Tim Middagh / The Globe

Jordan, the eighth in the eight-team sectional tournament, entered Tuesday’s game with a 2-13 record. The Hubmen clearly lacked enough firepower to challenge their rivals.

Only 31 seconds elapsed before the Trojans scored their first goal. It happened when sophomore attacker Jonathan Banegas picked up a long forward pass and found himself sprinting all alone in front of the JHS goalkeeper. The shot smacked the left post, but teammate Elmer Guzman was there on the other side. He booted the rebound into the net.

Then, with 32:51 left to play in the first half, Banegas scored the first of his three goals after accepting a beautiful pass from Guzman deep in the far right side of the field. Banegas used a header to get the goal.

At the 24:51 mark, Banegas scored again from 15 yards out. And with just 2:54 remaining until halftime, the Trojans’ Buoy Lia, amid a tangle of bodies in front of the Hubmen net, found an opening to make it 4-0.

While Worthington’s famous defense held as strong as ever -- never allowing the Hubmen to attempt a serious shot -- there was only one more WHS goal in the second half. It was Banegas again on a breakaway. Jordan goalkeeper Charles Valle made a decision to rush out and meet him as Banegas streaked forward, but the shot was made before it could be stopped.

Flores said his team seemed a bit too “passive” in the second half.

“It’s going to get a lot tougher from here. We gotta step it up,” he explained.

Jordan 0 0 -- 0

Worthington 4 1 -- 5