By Temecula FC
The 2019 NPSL regular season started on a cold wet night at Chaparral High School, home of Temecula Football Club. Temecula FC had to play with ten men for 70 minutes to get all three points Saturday night versus City of Angels FC. The Quails opened the scoring early when Joey Ciochetto stole the ball off a City of Angels defender to slot home from ten yards out. The celebrations did not last long from the Temecula FC supporters, who braved the 47 degree weather, as the goal was followed up shortly with a second yellow card to Eddie Gurrea for embellishment.
Former Temecula FC youth player Byron Rivera tapped in from close range after Joey Ciochetto’s deflected shot to give Temecula FC a two-goal lead before City replied with a penalty kick to cut the lead to 2-1. Ciochetto, who claimed Man of the Match honors, got his second goal on the night to end the first half 3-1 with the Quails in the lead.
City of Angels came out strong in the second half and got their second goal ten minutes in and sparked some life in the away team. City would continue to take advantage of the extra man, but were unable to create much in terms of chances. On the other hand, Temecula FC kept creating chances on the counter attack and came close a few times to extending their lead. Temecula FC’s Justin Picou, who just came on as a substitute, had a volley that put fear in the City goalkeeper late, but the ball went just wide of the right post. Temecula would finish with the 3-2 win and take home all three points to start the season strong.
”You want your team to get the lead, extend it and hold onto it,” Temecula FC head coach Austin Levins said. ”For the better part of this match, we were able to do that. Joey and Byron had goals early on and Brent Reis had two great saves late on to ensure we would take all three points. When you go down to ten men so early in the game you expect the worst, but the lads really should be proud as their attitude was spot on and worked their socks off to get the win. We had a very good preseason and I’m proud the players kept that good form tonight and made their supporters, family, coaching staff, and city proud.”
Photo Credit: Doug Yoder of bydesignimages