By Steven Ramirez/Riverside Coras FC
The Riverside Coras entered into its fifth match searching for another win to help propel them up the table, but Orange County FC was ready for anything the Coras brought at them. The Riverside faithful came out in numbers equipped with flags, drums, and anything that helped make their presence known. While the Mission Mob cheered its heart out, the home squad was unable to reward them with any points as the Coras fell by a 4-0 margin.
The Coras head coach Shane Shelton tried out a new formation in this match, with the hopes of combating OCFC’s direct play, but Riverside was unable to defend the wings, which is where all four goals came from. Orange County FC was led by winger Cody Shelton, younger brother to the Coras head coach, who played a role in three of the four goals.
The first half of this match was open-ended. Each club had its share at chances on goal, the difference being that OCFC scored three in the first half. Riverside Coras attacker Paul Salcedo was all over the pitch trying to create from every position on the field. Salcedo found a few chances out wide, combined with Danny Castro and Adrian Moreno, but they were unable to get past OCFC goalkeeper Jose Miranda, who made multiple saves throughout the match.
The first goal would hit the back of the net in the 23rd minute and this would begin Cody Shelton’s dominance over his former club. The goal would come from a long throw by Shelton into the Coras box. Congestion in the box would lead to a misread by Riverside keeper Andres Moreno, who couldn’t adjust to the crashing ball that was headed at the back post. The second goal of the match would come in six minutes later after a cross sent from Orange County’s right wing, where Dowan Kim would collect the ball out wide and then dribble up into the box and land a low shot on net. OCFC would put in one more in the 39th minute off a breaking run down the right wing and into the box.
The Coras kept trying to battle back in the Southern California heat, but were unable to gain possession in the match. Possession has been key for the Coras in creating opportunities, but by lacking that style of play each squad member was forced to chase each ball and create big moments out of small opportunities.
In the second half both teams would slow down as the temperature rose even higher. The game stayed open-ended as each team continued to get the ball into the wide channels, but a big injury to right back Jimmy Ross led to a forced substitution for Manolo Tornel. Instantly after Tornel entered he drew a yellow card. OCFC began to target the new substitution which would eventually lead to a 69th minute goal where OCFC left winger Kim would break past Tornel and lay a perfect shot at the back post, beating Coras goalkeeper Moreno for the fourth and final goal.
Each team played hard through the heat, but it was Orange County who continued to run up the table. The Coras have a week to reflect on this loss and prepare themselves for the FC Golden State match on March 31st. One thing is for sure, JW North Stadium will be buzzing from the strong Riverside support.
Photo Credit: Catherine Upson