There was no lack of excitement at Campo Guerrero Saturday night, as Riverside Coras and the Oxnard Guerreros were a part of an instant classic.
After 90 minutes the score would finish 3-3 and both teams had their head in hands as they both had opportunities to get the full three points.
Mental lapses would again get the best of the Guerreros and Captain Tomas Araujo touched on it postgame.
“It’s all about staying in the game one hundred percent the whole time” Araujo said. “Everyone has to play their role and can’t focus on the refs and other little things.”
Riverside would begin the scoring in the fourth minute as Kevin-Salvador Huezo would collect the ball from thirty yards out and score a tremendous goal. He connected perfectly on a volley and it would dip right over Oxnard’s Angel Cervantes to give Riverside an early 1-0 lead.
Riverside were able to hold off all attacks by Oxnard as the half went on until Alberto Anguiano took matters into his own hands and was able to beat a defender on the sideline and play a picture-perfect ball onto the head of Sigifredo Torres. Torres was denied at first but was able to place the follow up into the back of the net just before half. The score would stay level as the halftime whistle came.
“I was coaching them up on the field and they responded well,” Oxnard head coach Juan Florez said. “I told them at the half we need to take it to the next level.”
Both teams would start the second in search of that go-ahead goal, but it was Oxnard who would get the upper hand first in the second half.
Anguiano was again the face behind Oxnard’s efforts. Anguiano made a cutting run in behind the back line of Riverside and hit a one-time volley into the bottom corner, giving Oxnard a 2-1 lead.
Campo Guerrero was roaring, but the excitement was short-lived as just minutes later the Coras would run a quick free kick and catch the Guerreros sleeping.
This allowed for Alex Zaragoza of Riverside to collect a ball in front of goal with no pressure from opposing defenders, and he would make no mistake slotting it just past Cervantes.
Riverside would continue to apply pressure to the Oxnard back line and the constant attack would pay off as Yosimar Hernandez would bomb down the lefthand side of the pitch. Hernandez shot from a tight angle and Cervantes looked to have it covered, but the ball would squeak past and slowly roll into the net giving Riverside a 3-2 lead and what seemed like the full three points.
Oxnard seemed be done and looked like their losing streak would extend to seven games.
They would get a free kick in the dying seconds of the match. The ball was swung in and Anguiano looked in prime position to head it in, but he was pushed from behind as he went up.
Campo Guerrero went silent, and the only noise that was heard was the referee’s whistle blowing.
Oxnard was rewarded a penalty in the 90th minute of the match. Alejandro Garcia would step up to the spot for what ended up being the final kick of the game. Garcia eyed the goal and sent the keeper the wrong way. Oxnard fans would again be on their feet as the Guerreros would collect their first point since their win against FC Arizona in week two.
“Every game we’ve been competing” Araujo said. “We haven’t been losing, but we’ve been beating ourselves.”
The Guerreros had opportunities to win this one, and they will look to get three points in the next one when ASC San Diego comes to town June 9.
Contributor: Gabriel Naudin/Oxnard Guerreros FC
Photo Credit: Crooked Tooth Media