Two teams in completely different positions entered the pitch Saturday night. ASC San Diego is battling for the conference title, and Oxnard is looking to build for the future as season number two hasn’t gone as planned.
Campo Guerrero was full and rocking as fans from the Guerrero faithful weren’t going to make it easy for the boys from San Diego.
A win in this fixture would put ASC San Diego in a prime position to capture a conference championship and it was clear they weren’t leaving Campo Guerrero without the full three points.
ASC was able to get off to a quick start when in the 13th minute a cross was played in from the right side and a quick reaction by Alexander Churness allowed the ball to be directed on frame with pace. It was too quick for Oxnard’s Angel Cervantes as he tried to parry the ball out, but it ended up in the back of the net.
“We knew leaving this morning that we had to be fully committed and focused,” ASC San Diego head coach Jeffrey Korytoski said. “We knew that team was a lot better than what their record showed.”
ASC San Diego would have a chance to double the lead after a handball was called in the box. Cervantes would stare down the penalty taker and was not going to allow his team to go down 2-0 in the first half. Cervantes would dive right and be equal to the shot as he was able to keep his Guerrero’s team within striking distance.
Oxnard would have their fair share of chances, but were unable to complete the final key pass that would lead to an equalizer.
The score would remain 1-0 entering halftime, and head coach Juan Florez and his Guerreros team were looking to come out and battle against a top ASC San Diego side.
“Our Guerreros have shown to be warriors on the field,” Florez said.
The second half brought a Guerreros side that was determined to battle for every ball even if it meant putting their body on the line. They would continue to collect chances, but it was ASC San Diego who would land the final blow.
In the 67th minute Felipe Liborio would dribble with pace across the top of the box looking for just a half an inch of space. He collected himself once he found space and nailed a ball into the bottom left corner of the goal. Cervantes stood no chance and ASC San Diego would take the 2-0 lead and would hold onto that score line even with the constant pressure by Oxnard in the final 10 minutes of the match.
“I know that the Guerreros will continue and we may not be going to the playoffs this year, but we will continue to build for the future,” Florez said.
ASC San Diego was able to capture the full three points and goalkeeper Jean Antoine added to his resume by collecting another clean sheet.
“I am just trying to lead from the back,” Antoine said. “I see everything, so I talk to them to make sure everything gets done right and keep the clean sheet.”
A bright spot for the Guerrero’s in this game and the season as a whole was Alberto Anguiano and his dominant play in the midfield. Anguiano is a force to be reckoned with and as a result, he has captured the eye of newly added MLS side LAFC.
“It makes me want to play harder,” Anguiano added. “I want to get ready to play at a higher level if I do go over and play with those guys.”
The Guerreros have two games remaining on their schedule and Anguiano and his teammates will push to get two wins in the last two games.
“Kids will benefit from watching our talent and out effort from beginning to end,” Florez concluded. “The results will come and we will continue to adjust to the quality of the rest of the league.”
The Guerreros will be traveling to Whittier, California to take on FC Golden State June 18. FC Golden State is a team that is also battling to get their hands on the conference title and a place in the national playoffs.
“I think you all have a terrific coach,” Korytoski said. “He has done a great job and has gotten a lot out of his players. They’ve got a lot of heart and they work extremely hard.”
Keep your eye out for the Guerreros as the building continues and they look to continue to improve in the coming seasons.
Contributor: Gabriel Naudin/Oxnard Guerreros FC
Photo Credit: Roman Cooper Photography