Orem’s Tyler Klein likened an away game at Alta to an away game at Anfield in the English Premier League.

“It’s just such an atmosphere here, so many fans,” said Klein.

Thanks to Klein’s heroics on Tuesday afternoon, Orem secured a tremendous result at one of state’s toughest places and in the process established itself as the likely 5A favorite.

Klein’s 75th-minute banger into the top-right corner proved to be the only goal snapped in a scoreless game to that point and proved to be the game winner as the Tigers walked away with a 1-0 win to improve to 11-1 on the season.

The goal was his 11th on the season as Orem knocked off defending state champion Alta in the first meeting of the season. The teams were originally supposed to play a couple weeks ago, but that game was postponed because of the weather to next week.

“This is a game the boys have been preparing for, we couldn’t wait, we wanted to make a statement. We went back and forth on each side, we were lucky enough to have a finish. We kept knocking and it came,” said Orem first-year coach Luis Herrera.

He said it was fitting that Klein buried the winner.

“He is one of the backbones of this team, he helps us a lot in crucial moments. This kid could go play anywhere to be honest, and he shows that every time,” he said.

About five minutes before banging home the winner, Klein shanked a good chance with his left foot as the ball hopped up funny on Alta’s bumpy natural grass surface.

That miss impacted his decision to uncork a shot with the outside of his foot moments later.

“I knew it would bounce before I hit it, so instead of trying to side foot I knew I had to hit a volley with the outside of my foot,” said Klein.

He admits he’d pull off that shot 1 out of 10 times, but Tuesday was the one as it tailed away from the keeper and into the top-right corner of goal.

Orem center back Jace Robins was credited with the assist after pushing upfield into the corner and creating just enough space for Klein.

At the other end of the field, Robins was instrumental in helping the Tigers notch their seventh shutout of the season out of the 3-5-2 formation.

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“Playing three in the back can bite you, but we trust our defensive players back there, they’ll commit for anything. They can make mistakes, but at the end of the day we have a really solid defense that will keep us in game,” said Herrera.

Alta created a handful of half chances against Orem’s backline throughout the game, but none were clear-cut chances and none forced keeper Anderson Ruiz into anything difficult.

With three games left in the regular season, Orem will look to build on the momentum created from Tuesday’s win heading into the playoffs.

“We just have to treat every game like a big one, even the small ones. We just have to keep that mentality up and keep focused and keep moving forward,” said Klein.

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