By Steven Ramirez/Riverside Coras FC
Riverside County is home to one of the fiercest rivalries in the NPSL: Riverside Coras FC vs. Temecula FC. While the owners may be partners within the NPSL organization, when it comes to on the field action these teams truly dislike each other. To date the Coras have never lost to the Quails in league play, a statistic that has stoked the flames between both supporters groups: the Dirty Birds (Temecula FC) and the Mission Mob (Riverside Coras FC). The traveling supporters were loud, taunting the Temecula players at every possible moment. The match would end in a scoreless draw, but there was plenty of action on the field.
Even though the match was a scoreless draw it doesn’t mean that both squads didn’t have their chances on at goal. The Coras had a hard time creating solid chances in the first half, but always battled to cause turnovers in the midfield. Center midfielder Israel Vasquez caused multiple turnovers in Temecula’s half and continued to recycle play to the Riverside attackers. Temecula’s inability to play through the midfield forced them to play over it, always trying to break on the counter against the Coras, where they were often met by defensive stalwarts Jimmy Ross and Jose Perez.
Like any rivalry, this match wouldn’t be complete without its fair share of fouls. This led to many dangerous free kick opportunities that Riverside were unable to take advantage of.
At the start of the second half Temecula FC would come out hot, taking control of the tempo and trying to score in this so-far gritty draw. The Coras would battle through a grueling ten minutes and managed to catch up to the game speed. Each team took turns attacking at goal and this contributed to the open-ended play displayed in the second half. New Riverside defender Sebastian Perry earned his first appearance with the club, playing at right back. Perry immediately showed the coaching staff his ability to play at this level, as he not only contributed to maintaining a clean sheet, but worked with Ross to create chances off the right wing.
Both goalkeepers had to make multiple saves in order to keep their squad in the match, but what stole the show and eventually a win from the traveling Coras, was Man of the Match Brent Reis’ back-to-back saves in stoppage time. The first chance was a curling shot from outside the box and off the left foot of Roman Santiago, followed by an arching header from Ross that almost dipped into the goal, but was tipped out by Reis.
Both teams left with a point and have continued to build into the rivalry. The Riverside Coras Football Club remain undefeated against Temecula FC in league play. With this draw the Coras have only given up two points to its Inland Empire rival. These clubs meet up once again in Riverside on May 26, 2019.
Photo Credit: Catherine Upson