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FAIRFIELD — Darien’s recipe for success all season has been simple: Score a goal, play defense.

And as it has all year, that formula worked again Monday night as the No. 2 Blue Wave defeated sixth-seeded Greenwich 1-0 at Fairfield Ludlowe High School to advance to the FCIAC title game for the first time.

The Blue Wave (12-1-5) will face defending champion Ludlowe in Wednesday’s championship at Norwalk’s Sam Testa Field. The Falcons upset No. 1 Danbury 4-2 on Monday.

Darien got its goal in the 27th minute after Pablo Martinez earned a penalty kick with some nifty moves near the goal line. Martinez would convert into the right side of the net, giving his team the only tally it needed as the Blue Wave defense held the Cardinals to just two shots on goal.

“They really cushion me, they allow me to make less saves,” Darien goalie Liam Rischmann said of his defenders, who now have shutouts in both rounds of the FCIAC playoffs after a 2-0 win over Staples last Thursday. “It’s just kind of, clear the ball and don’t give up shots and that’s how you win, and that’s how our defense has been playing all year; get a goal and pack it in the back.”

Both teams entered the contest without their most prolific scorers — Greenwich’s Nick Bartels (knee injury) and Darien’s Jack Kniffin (yellow cards) — forcing other players to fill the void, something both coaches were pleased with.

“Two of the best players aren’t playing, other kids had to step up and perform on both teams and I think both teams played really well today,” Darien coach Jon Bradley said. “We play so many games in this league that injuries are just part of what you go through and I think today both sides played a very tough gritty game of soccer that came down to really a well taken penalty.”

Greenwich (9-4-5) coach Kurt Putnam echoed that sentiment, but was less than pleased with the officiating in the contest.

“I thought we played a fantastic game,” Putnam said. “To be honest I thought we didn’t get some calls out there that we should’ve had, and without being blatant, that’s what’s disappointing.”

Although the scoring chances came few and far between for both sides, both defenses were up the challenge when tested.

In the 23rd minute,Darien’s Andrew Matthew bent a free kick towards the left corner of the net, but Greenwich Keeper Christopher Mac Kay made a diving save to preserve the then-scoreless game.

On the ensuing corner kick Darien put three consecutive headers on the net, the last from Martinez that looked to beat Mac Kay but hit the crossbar before being cleared away.

The best Greenwich opportunity came in the second half with 10 minutes remaining when Kevin Agudelo drove towards the Darien net with no defender in front of him, but the Wave’s Robert Garrett swept in at the last second to knock the ball away and out of bounds.

Earning a spot in the title game is always the goal coming into the season, but for Darien there was a little extra incentive.

“I said it in the beginning of the season; we’ve gone through two straight preseasons where we haven’t been ranked in our own league’s Top 10, so we have to go out and show people we’re legit,” Bradley said. “No matter what happens on Wednesday we’ve shown we deserve to be where we are.”

aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP

DARIEN 1, GREENWICH 0

GREENWICH 0 0—0

DARIEN 1 0—1

Records: Greenwich 9-4-5; Darien 12-1-5. Goals: D—Pablo Martinez. Goalies: G—Christopher Mac Kay (4 saves); D—Liam Rischmann (1). Shots: G—2; D—7.