By ASC San Diego
Once again, opening night with ASC San Diego has lived up to everything and anything anyone could expect. Armed with vuvuzelas, face-paintings, food, umbrellas, and passion, fans rallied behind the reigning 2018 NPSL Southwest Conference champions to claim a 3-2 victory over the Riverside Coras on a cool and rainy Saturday night at Mission Bay Stadium. ASC newcomer Mike Semenza declared, “the atmosphere was incredible… the music, the noise, the crowd tonight was electrifying.”
First-half possession was dominated by ASC as they scored all three goals before the break. Within four minutes of the match, winger Dallin Cutler opened up the scoring after tapping in a sizzling cross at the back post from Semenza. The home team continued to play at a Barcelona-like tempo by working the ball around with smooth passing and calm footwork.
While Coras equalized in the tenth minute on an Adrian Moreno strike from outside the box to even the score, the match remained even from there on until the 39th minute. It was then that ASC took control of the game as Khadim Seye connected on a powerful header to the back post on a well-executed corner kick. Minutes later, Christian Enriquez put the Red, White, and Blue up 3-1 by bending in a corner-kick from the right side that would prove to be the eventual game-winner.
Despite the 3-1 deficit to start the second half, Coras got a goal back in the 58th minute. Their pressure forced ASC into numerous turnovers throughout the match and they were awarded with a penalty that Adrian Moreno was able to convert for his second goal of the night.
The 3-2 scoreline made for an entertaining and drama-filled final 30 minutes. ASC were unable to capitalize on their second half opportunities in front of goal and Riverside eventually went down to ten men when Carlos Sierra was sent off late for picking up his second yellow of the night.
As the match was winding down, ASC’s Jeff Powers was booked yellow and ASC was forced to refute all last-ditch efforts by Coras to equalize. In the final minutes, Riverside’s best chance arrived due to an outcome that allowed the striker to cleverly knock the ball over the goalkeeper’s reach. The shot was destined for the back of the net if it wasn’t for Kuba Waligorski’s goal line clearance. The skipper’s athletic efforts surely saved ASC from a disappointing share of the points.
Playing in less than favorable conditions against a high scoring Riverside, ASC San Diego was able to secure a crucial win on their path toward the goal of conference champions and beyond in 2019.
After the match, ASC San Diego Head Coach Ziggy Korytoski declared, “Opening night is always special to me. It represents the beginning of a journey with men that have put their lives on hold to inspire our community. It was a great result at the end of the night with a lot of positives to take away from it… While there’s still a lot of work to do, I’m excited about the foundation of which we have laid, our team, and the atmosphere in the stadium as well.”
ASC San Diego returns to action vs AS Los Angeles on Sunday, March 10th at 7:30 pm.
Photo Credit: Dereld Photography