The second home game in Oxnard Guerreros history on Apr. 1 didn’t go according to plan as they fell 2-1 to top of the league Riverside Coras at Del Sol Park.
The Guerreros, who were able to get a win last week against Temecula FC, couldn’t seem to get things going early as a defensive mistake allowed Riversides Cody Shelton to pounce and give the Coras a 1-0 advantage four minutes into the match.
“This is the third game that we have allowed a goal in the first five minutes,” Guerreros assistant coach Paulo Monlleo-Filho said.
The Guerreros were down early, but didn’t give up. Six minutes later Emmanuel “Nana” Ayken received a ball on the left side of the pitch after a well-timed run then proceeded to beat the Riverside defender and play a brilliantly weighted cross into the box. The cross was met by Guerreros striker Eduardo Gonzalez, who placed the shot just beneath the keeper, leveling the game at 1-1 and getting the Guerreros right back into the game.
This was Gonzalez’s first goal of the year.
“It was amazing, but I only care about the team and we just have to keep going and keep working hard,” Gonzalez said.
Following the equalizer, the game was back and forth and both keepers were forced to make saves to keep that important go ahead goal out of the back of their net.
Neither team looked as though they would give up another goal until the 29th minute when Shane Shelton was able to slot the ball just under the outstretched hand of Guerreros goalkeeper Angel Cervantes and give Coras the go-ahead goal 15 minutes before the whistle for half.
As Riverside dropped more to defend their lead the Guerreros pushed higher and higher allowing them to create more chances on goal.
The 32nd minute brought a golden opportunity after Ayken was able to create a bit of space and put a shot on target that forced the Riverside goalkeeper to make a heroic save to keep his teams lead intact.
In the 37th minute, after a ball was served in from the right side of the box, captain Alberto Anguiano went up for a header that was contested by the goalkeeper and ultimately punched out to a Guerreros player who was able to head it into the back of the net. In the midst of the celebration the whistle was blown and the center referee pointed to the sideline where the side judge had raised his flag for offside. The score would stay 2-1 in favor of the Coras heading into half.
As halftime came and went the Guerreros were looking to come out and continue to attacking force that was brought at the end of the first half.
The second half was filled with just as much action as both teams racked up a total of 14 shots with six of them being on target.
The game continued to be a hard-fought battle and the keeper showdown was one to be remembered, but ultimately the Coras of Riverside were able to outlast the Guerreros at home taking their win total to four on the season after the 2-1 defeat of the team from Oxnard.
“Right now we just have to keep our heads up. We have to keep working hard and keep up the pressure. Right now we had a lot of chances, but the ball just didn’t go in,” Gonzalez added.
The lineup, which saw a few changes from the last home win, was the lineup that gave them the best chance to win said Guerreros head coach Julio Cesar Gomez De La Torre.
“The game was very good for our team, but we just had some bad luck today. My players played an incredible game and kept their cool on the field and I am very happy with my players today.”
De la Torre spoke a lot of about the positives he and his team could take away from this game.
“Today we saw that this team can compete in this league without problems… today we were unlucky, but I am sure in the future the result will be more positive for us.”
The Guerreros will look to get back on track Apr. 8 at 5:30 as Orange County FC visits Del Sol Park.
“I would like to thank all of the fans who came to support us, and hopefully they will come out again next week,” Gonzalez concluded.