FC Arizona got a much-needed win at home Saturday night against Temecula FC to solidify its fourth place standing in the NPSL West Region Southwest Conference, ensuring a playoff run for the final two weeks of the season.
“Big win tonight, direct with a team that has aspirations of getting in the playoffs,” FC Arizona coach Maxi Viera said. “We need to win next week.”
FC Arizona has 14 points in 10 games, six points ahead of fifth place Riverside Coras, who play ASC San Diego on Sunday. San Diego is two points ahead of FC Arizona.
FC Arizona finishes the regular season on the road at Riverside on June 10 and FC Orange County on June 15. FC Orange County is a point ahead of FC Golden State, which still has three games left to play.
The top two teams in the conference advance to the postseason with a third team – the winner of a June 30 play-in game between the third and fourth place finishers – also qualifying.
On Saturday, Cesar Mexia opened the game and scored in the first two minutes. The FC Arizona captain stressed in the team huddle how important it was to win tonight.
“It’s a big win for us, getting those three points, it’s definitely going to give us momentum going into the last two regular season games before playoffs. We just got to keep working throughout the week. We have a good team. We didn’t start the season too well but we just have to keep working.”
“We were lucky that we opened within two minutes we score,” Viera said. “Things start getting open a little more.”
That first goal allowed the team to play without the nervousness of the game.
Twenty minutes later, Betto Renteria, on an assist from Mexia, scored the second goal.
Josh Drak scored in the 38th minute, giving FC Arizona a 3-0 halftime lead.
Tyler Feeley got a header in the 54th minute and what felt like just a few seconds later, Nacho Cancela scored his own.
Feeley scored one more in the 84th minute, making the final score 6-0.
“We score all the chances we have,” Viera said. “We created a lot of chances in the past and couldn’t score.”
The NPSL West Region playoffs begin July 7.
“It’s a great win for the future,” Viera said.
Contributor: Arianna Grainey/FC Arizona
Photo Credit: Arianna Grainey/FC Arizona