By ASC San Diego
ASC San Diego was back home at Mission Bay Stadium for their second home match of the season against conference leaders Temecula FC. After a tough two-match road trip earlier this week, ASC San Diego was be thrilled to be back in familiar pastures after securing an impressive 3-2 victory over Riverside Coras on their first time out at Mission Bay Stadium in the opening week. The home side was able to repeat their home form, finding the back of the net deep in stoppage time to secure a crucial 1-0 result.
ASC fans were not surprised after seeing several changes to the starting 11 after a chaotic 3-1 defeat to FC Golden State this past Wednesday. ASC San Diego suffered a triad of devastating injuries, forcing three first-half injury substitutions. Only starting goalkeeper Jean Antoine was declared fit enough to suit up for the match on Saturday.
The first half was all forward motion for ASC. The home side played with a newfound tempo, putting enormous amounts of pressure on Temecula. ASC played with energy that seemed to frustrate the normally high-flying Quails attack. Despite ASC’s delightful new form, ASC was unable to put it together in the final third. Dallin Cutler looked most dangerous to open up the scoring after unlocking the Temecula defense several times after some clever combination play with his midfield partner Ewout Gouw. The team was able to rifle off five shots on goal in the first half, including two from the later named Man of the Match Christian Enriquez.
Despite the clean sheet, ASC San Diego’s defense did not make it easy for goalkeeper Jean Antoine. In the 25th minute, Antoine showed why he is Ziggy’s first choice keeper as the Quails were looking to cook with a scorcher of a free kick that went directly into the capable hands of Antoine.
Temecula FC came back from the break with what seemed to be a renewed determination adding even more of an offensive push forcing ASC’s defense to dig in. Captain Kuba Waligorski and new center back partner Ricky Mckenzie looked like they’ve been playing with each other for the entire season despite Saturday being their first match together.
Both teams had a few second-half substitutions while trying to secure an important three points early in the season. As the game opened up, the new additions created scoring opportunities for each of them. Refusing to drop points, ASC continued to knock on the door as time was winding down. As Temecula was visibly fatigued, they sat on top of their box for the final 30 minutes, making it difficult for ASC to find any space to penetrate. Tensions and hopes were both sky high as the 90-minute mark passed. Finally in the 92nd minute, Justin Pique was called for a handball just outside the penalty box which would provide the dramatic end to this cliffhanger match. ASC’s Christian Enriquez showed his class by bending his kick around the wall in which TFC goalkeeper Brent Ries was unable to see until the ball passed the Temecula wall. The frozen goalkeeper had no play on what would become the game-winner in stoppage time. Less than a minute later victory was official for ASC San Diego as the fans and players celebrated what is an extremely important result for the team early in the season.
Ultimately it was ASC’s grit and determination that paid off as head coach Ziggy Korytoski couldn’t be more proud. “It’s a team that’s got a lot of character. They want to compete, they want to win. They’re relentless.”
ASC hits the road once again on March 23 against City of Angels FC.
Photo Credit: Peter Durdaller, Sports Photography