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SoCal beats Corinthians at Fairplex

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Giovanna Z. Rinaldo
Editorial Director

Soccer came to the Fairplex in Pomona Saturday as SoCal SC claimed a 3-0 home win against Corinthians USA in a National Premier Soccer League matchup.

The lead came early in the game as winger Alex Zaragoza put SoCal on the scoreboard only two minutes after kickoff.

Catching Corinthians’ defense off-guard, he found an open spot and received the ball to send it straight to the back of the net.

For the whole first half, SoCal built pressure and accumulated chances, especially from the left side with Zaragoza. The winger was his team’s reference in playmaking and he was volatile enough to get rid of Corinthians’ defensive efforts.

The visiting team was left to defend, only occasionally creating chances. Despite SoCal’s superiority, goals were scarce compared to the numerous opportunities to score. Their second goal only came at the 41st minute with Colombian forward Roonie Moreno, who finished the game with a brace, scoring his second at the 77th mark.

“In the first one, Andy (Contreras, midfielder) gives us a sign, he sends me a through ball and I shoot it with my left,” Moreno said. “In the second one, I get it on my back, I turn, see the goalkeeper, who is inches away, and score the goal.”

Corinthians came back slightly more organized in the second half but was still was unable to measure up to SoCal’s dominance.

“The team performed well, we made some changes during the week and they assimilated it well, we just lacked scoring from the opportunities,” SoCal coach Daniel Musatti said.

“If we score 30 percent of what we are creating, we will win most games. But we have to work on that final pass and getting to the back of the net. It’s the details, thankfully the rest we have already fixed this week.”

Bouncing back from two defeats, SoCal moved into fourth place in the NPSL standings, while Corinthians remained in eighth.

“It was a difficult game for the context that we came from the two losses. The truth is that we worked really hard during the week to reach the main goal that was to win,” Moreno said.

“I think the mistakes we made in the games we lost were really stressed by the coach and luckily we could work well not to make them again in today’s match.”

With his first two goals for SoCal SC, Moreno was elected man of the match and named NPSL Player of the Week.

“I thought we did good. We stepped it up, came here to fight, came to play. We just need to work on our finishing, but we did good,” Zaragoza said. “We had good possession on the game, we pressured well. We moved the ball around to find more open spaces.”

On Saturday, SoCal will take on third place Orange County FC at Portola High School in Irvine, while Corinthians will host second place FC Arizona at Chino High School Stadium.

SoCal’s next home match at the Fairplex will be April 22 against the Oxnard Guerreros FC. Tickets are available at $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 12 on the team’s website,
thesocalsports.club.

Giovanna Z. Rinaldo can be reached at giovanna.zelonirinaldo@laverne.edu or on Twitter @giozrinaldo.

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