By Steven Ramirez/Riverside Coras
May couldn’t have come any sooner for the Riverside faithful who only had the opportunity to watch their team at home once during the month of April. Now after spending over 1,000 miles on the road last month, The Coras get to come home for the majority of the month, which should help the club regain form and work its way up the table. That trend started on Cinco de Mayo, where the Riverside Coras came away with a 4-1 victory over City of Angels FC.
The last time these two clubs met, the Coras travelled to Los Angeles and won 4-0. The last victory helped give the Coras a boost of confidence and this win has furthered that development and have also propelled Riverside up into sixth place, tied on points with Oxnard Guerreros FC.
This week the Coras started three new players to the club: Richard Caley Powers, Victor Aguirre and Uri Mosqueda, all of whom had a big impact on the match. Powers was deployed as a lone striker and his combination play with center attacking playmaker Adrian Moreno helped lead to multiple attacks on the City of Angels goalkeeper and eventually his first goal for the club. Aguirre held down the midfield with his defensive prowess and often times found himself as the sole player in front of the backline. Aguirre showed confidence in one of the most important roles in the Coras formation. Mosqueda played at right back and continuously found himself open and leading attacks via the right wing.
The Coras have maintained a possessive style of play all year. The main goal is to hold the ball and use a combination of short passes to move all around the pitch, patiently, and wait for channels to open, usually on the wings.
This match started out with Riverside holding majority of possession and not letting City of Angels touch much of the ball. The Coras kept on pinging attacks from all sides of the CoA box, but it took a 19th minute penalty to open the flood gates of scoring. After that first goal by Moreno, the Coras unleashed a flurry of attacks that would lead to two other goals in the first half. A 27th minute team goal saw a combination of five passes on top and into the box of City of Angels where Moreno finished it for his second of the night and tenth of the season. Then two minutes later Powers would be on the end of a quick 1-2 passing combination for his first of the season.
The Coras were in complete control of the first half, but towards the end managed to get caught on a counter-attack. As the backline hustled back, Shane Shelton came up with a huge sliding tackle inside the box. His lead leg knocks out the ball, but his body goes through the City of Angels attacker and the referee would blow his whistle, signaling the second penalty of the night. The attacker would come up and sink the penalty, earning a goal, right before the end of halftime.
The second half started and there was a whole new vibe. The temperature had cooled and so did the tempo in the match. The Coras continued with the game plan and distributed all around the pitch, but couldn’t find the back of the net. City of Angels began to withdraw inside the field and left open some big channels on the outside, where wingers Jimmy Ross and Adrian Angulo continuously found space and drove the ball into the box. Then in the 79th minute Ross would drive into the box, continue his run after he passed the ball, and get on the end of a loose ball that the City of Angels defense couldn’t clear. That fourth goal would be the game winner and push Riverside three spots up the NPSL Southwest Conference table.
While many players for Riverside put in a great performance, it was really Adrian Moreno who stuck out. He scored two goals and was consistently involved in almost every attack for the night. His attacking work ethic was not matched by anyone on the pitch and he put together one of his best, if not the best, performance in a Riverside jersey. Next week the Coras travel to expansion side High Desert Elite FC and will look to gain another win against the Adelanto side and travel further up the table.
Photo Credit: Catherine Upson