By: Steven Ramirez @stevilFC (Twitter & Instagram)
Saturday evening, a perfect 80 degrees as the sun starts to set over Riverside Stadium.The scene was set for the NPSL game of the week.The match started with FCGS attacking fast, and applying pressure anytime Riverside tried to build from the back. This led to Riverside absorbing the pressure and trying to launch long attacks, at times passing over the entire midfield. FCGS back line stood strong not only stopping Riverside’s attacks, but controlling the ball and building from the back once more.
After the first 15 minutes the play-styles began to switch as Riverside looked to pass their way up the field and apply pressure as FCGS would then counter. Some defensive turnovers were caused due to the persistent pressure of Riverside Coras, but the chances would come up short. While looking at the Riverside’s back line you could see that it was unorganized, no one was talking or trying to keep their shape, but surprisingly were able to close down on the opposition attack.
The match stayed physical throughout the first half. Riverside looked physically better but FCGS looked very comfortable with moving the ball around, and looking for the open spaces. At about the 40th minute you could see the field start to spread as both teams looked to add a goal before half. Till this point Riverside had stayed compact enough to close up the gaps but as the half started to finish and the tempo started to rise, those gaps began to reveal themselves. In the 44th minute, for the second time this season, Riverside’s defense gives away a ball that leads to a goal.
In the first half, Riverside remained the more physical team, but FCGS looked very comfortable on the ball. They were able to move around the closing defense and get a few good opportunities on goal.
Just like the first half ended so the second half began.Both teams exchanged attacks looking to earn a quick goal. Much like their last match against Temecula FC, Riverside began to play better as they got tired. Short passes became more frequent, which led to some good combination play, but Riverside’s attack could not put one in the back of the net.
As physical games do, this one turned into a passionate battle. FCGS began to respond to Riverside’s physicality and had a few hard challenges. After a feisty tackle, a little scuffle broke out between two players, which led to a red card for Riverside Coras.
That red card would signal the end of the match. For twenty minutes FCGS were able to hold the ball and force Riverside to come get it. This allowed for FCGS to pick perfect opportunities to move forward for an attack and in the 78′ minute , FCGS forward finds a well placed pass between the Riverside defenders, as he gets towards goal he’s pulled down inside the box for a penalty. Penalty Converted making it 2-0 FCGS.
FC Golden State’s ability to pass around the press was key to this victory. It led to sloppy tackles, and opened lots of gaps throughout the match. Riverside GK Alphonso Lara came up big more than a few times making great saves (like with his face). While Riverside has some good individual talent, they have to put it together as a team.Will Riverside be able to find its voice in the back that will keep them organized?
Next match will be against Albion SC.