By Steven Ramirez/Riverside Coras
The heat would return to Riverside in the midst of one of the toughest stretches in the Coras schedule. And while the Coras are no stranger to tough opposition, no one could have predicted the 8-2 loss that was delivered by the hands of undefeated side FC Golden State. This loss pushes Riverside down the Southwest Conference table and if the club wants any chance at getting into the playoffs, it will have to earn some big results, starting next week against FC Arizona.
Riverside came out in a 4-5-1 defensively, trying to sit in a mid block to negate Golden State from playing through the interior of the midfield. This forced Golden State to operate through wide channels. Once behind the Coras midfield, the FCGS attack was able to take on the defense 1v1, earning space for a shot on goal or finding time for a second runner to enter the box to finish the ball off a simple pass.
The first goal would come in the 10th minute after the Golden State press would intercept an errant pass from the Coras backline. Golden State would charge out wide, center the ball, and find the first goal of the night. The early goal would force Riverside to batten down the hatches and destroy any ball that tried to make it through the midfield line, but as the game continued on Riverside was unable to maintain the bunker and needed to open up if they wanted to try and create any chances. This expansion of the midfield would lead to FCGS’ second goal in the 24th minute, followed by the third in the 38th minute, and the fourth in the 44th minute.
Riverside refused to go into the half empty-handed. In the 45th minute, left winger Paul Salcedo would go on the break, occupy three defenders, pull out the goalkeeper, and pass it back to leading goal scorer Adrian Moreno, who would smash it in from outside the box.
The Coras would make a few changes going into the second half, including a substitution for the starting goalkeeper, Andres Moreno. The Riverside squad looked to have a new found energy in the second half, which was quickly tested after another giveaway from the Coras backline would result in a goal.
The Coras would fight back immediately. Midfielder Emilio Huerta would dribble through the Golden State backline and into the box. Once in the box Huerta was brought down by the FCGS backline, earning a penalty kick. Huerta was quick to step up to the occasion and net his first goal of the season.
After Riverside’s second goal, the club looked to push back into the game. They earned more possession and often found themselves attacking in Golden State’s half. The team was battling back, trying to do everything in their power to earn a result. As the club chased the three goal deficit, they left themselves open to the counter. Golden State would drive down its left wing, get into the box, and fire on goal. The newly substituted keeper, Alexis Moran, would come out and make a big save, but unfortunately deflected the ball into the path of an FCGS attacker, who finished on an open net.
During the save, Moran would take a hit to the head, which would lead to him showing symptoms of a concussion, resulting in a forced substitution. With no other keeper on the bench, midfield powerhouse Hugo Gutierrez would be forced to put on the gloves and play keeper for the remaining half hour. This inexperience at goalkeeper would lead to Golden State’s seventh and eighth goal of the night.
Mistakes and lapses of concentration lead to this poor performance from the Coras. To salvage the season, Riverside will need to dust off this big home loss and take the time to prepare for another undefeated squad in FC Arizona. The NPSL Southwest Conference has a long season and can prove to be forgiving to the Coras, but Riverside will need to put every ounce of pride and effort into turning this season around.
Photo Credit: Catherine Upson