The Showdown in the Desert Ends in 1-1 Draw
In a battle of the undefeateds, it seems fitting that the match would end in a 1-1 draw.
The two goals in this match were scored on opposite ends with FC Arizona’s Manuel Rivera finding the back of the net in the 15th minute on a penalty and Riverside Coras defender Robert Camacho scoring in the second minute of stoppage time.
“Arizona is a fantastic team,” said Jose Esqueda, head coach of Riverside Coras. “Playing in front of 2,000 fans, who doesn’t want to play in front of that. Super hard fought battle. It was a fair result. These are the two best scoring offenses and two best defenses in the league. It’s a game of a couple inches and those inches carried us to a draw.”
Riverside came out strong early one and looked to go up a goal in the minute, but a header inside the box was just wide. FC Arizona responded well with goal just minute later when Riverside was flagged for a hand ball in the box. Rivera calmly slotted home the attempt.
The remainder of the first half was a back-and-forth affair until the 43rd minute when FC Arizona’s NPSL Player of the Week, Cesar Mexia, hit the crossbar.
At the start of the second half, FC Arizona came out strong with attempts in the 54th minute from Alejandro Aguilar and Mexia in the 54th minute. Riverside had their chances as well, but they were limited to shots from distance and crosses that were easy pickings for FC Arizona goalkeeper Andrew Weber.
FC Arizona had one final chance in the 87th minute, but Mexia’s shot hit the crossbar. Riverside then threw everything they had forward and a fortunate deflection bounced out to Camacho, who then cut Weber and slotted home the equalizer.