North County Battalion continued their five-game points streak (4-0-1) with a 9-1 victory over Corinthians USA. North County attacked relentlessly from start to finish and was rewarded with the victory.
Even though the Battalion were the aggressors, they found themselves in an early hole when Sasha Peranteau sent a bad pass back to keeper James Stroud. Corinthians forward Edgar Lima picked off the pass and snuck the ball under Stroud’s legs in the third minute.
North County got back in the game in the 25th minute with a goal by Eric Lopez. Lopez redirected a centering pass by Sergio Ortiz towards goal and left the Corinthians goalkeeper helpless.
Asher Booth put the men in black in front when he scored on a long pass from Justin Picou in the 31st minute. Picou perfectly dropped the pass in between two Corinthians defenders and Booth settled it and blasted the shot past the goalkeeper. Booth has now scored in every game he has appeared in this season.
Right before half time the Battalion were awarded a penalty kick for a hard foul in the box. Picou calmly sent a shot straight down the middle for the 3-1 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Battalion continued their offensive onslaught. In the 50th minute, Esteban Reyes took a hard shot on goal that the goalkeeper was unable to corral. The rebound landed at the feet of Nelson Pizarro, who calmly slotted the ball in the net to make the score 4-1.
Four minutes later Adam Meltz got his first goal of the season on a through ball from Pizarro that bounced off the goalkeeper’s hands and trickled into the goal. With the 5-1 lead, the Battalion were in complete control and Corinthians were completely demoralized.
North County continued to pile on goals. Ortiz broke through and scored on an amazing side volley off a throw-in. It was his first overhead kick of his soccer career in the decisive playoff-clinching win over Corinthians. His goal coming in the 60th minute of the match made the score 6-1. Ortiz also finished with 2 assists and was named Man of the Match.
Even with a five goal lead, the pressure from the home team continued. The Battalion put together some nifty passing and finished it off with a through ball from Ortiz to Reyes. Reyes slid the ball past the diving keeper and the Battalion led 7-1 with 26 minutes to play.
With so much time left in the game and the Battalion offense firing on all cylinders, it seemed like they could not miss. In the 73rd minute, Michael Harrow took a long pass and nicely set it up and blasted a shot from outside the box. The power and accuracy of the shot just too much for the Corinthians goalkeeper and North County extended their lead to seven goals.
Number nine fell in the 86th minute when Corinthians failed to clear the ball and the ball landed at the feet of Pizarro. He got around the sprawling goalkeeper and calmly tucked the ball into the net to establish the final score line.
This win moves the Battalion into sole possession for second place one point clear of Deportivo Coras USA. On Saturday your Battalion will host SoCal SC at Del Norte High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 and you can find tickets here.