SEASIDE, Calif. – Rio Grande Valley FC rallied from a first-half deficit as goals by Emilo Ycaza and Robert Coronado sent the visitors to a 2-1 victory against Monterey Bay F.C. on Saturday night, handing the hosts their first defeat at home venue Cardinale Stadium in its second game at the venue.
Before another enthusiastic crowd the hosts created the first good chance of the game in the 19th minute when Chase Boone played Arun Basuljevic into the left side of the penalty area only for Toros goalkeeper Colin Miller to come off his line and parry the shot wide of the near post. From the ensuing corner kick, however, Hugh Roberts rose highest at the top of the six-yard area to get on the end of Robbie Crawford’s delivery and flicked his header into the right corner of the net to put the hosts ahead.
The Toros tried to hit back midway through the first half as Wahab Ackwei forced a save from Monterey Bay’s Carlos Herrera off a cross from the left by Ricky Ruiz, and MBFC’s Christian Voleskey shot just wide of the right post 10 minutes before the halftime break. The game swung in the direction of the visitors late in the first half, though, as in the 42nd minute Ycaza fought through a challenge outside the penalty area and then curled a shot home just inside the right post to pull the Toros level. RGVFC then took the lead in the first minute of stoppage time as a pass deflected to Coronado 35 yards from goal, and after he continued his run into the penalty area after finding Juan Pablo Torres, the return pass arrived on time allowing Coronado to lift his finish over the goalkeeper and into the net.
RGVFC went for a third five minutes into the second half as Frank Lopez curled a free kick from the top-left corner of the penalty area just over the crossbar, while Volesky was denied for the hosts as he headed strongly on target off a cross by Chris Cortez only for Miller to make an excellent save shifting back to his right. The Toros were then denied an appeal for a penalty kick when Ruiz appeared to be brought down by Monterey Bay’s Grant Robinson before Cortez sent a header wide for the hosts and Boone had a long-range effort saved by Miller.
The hosts saw their chances of rallying take a hit with 19 minutes to go as Crawford was sent off for his second yellow card of the game, but despite that Cortez almost leveled as he beat Miller to a free kick into the left side of the penalty area but saw his header float over the crossbar. After a late free kick by Seku Conneh was saved by Miller, however, the visitors were able to see out the result and take an important three points back to South Texas.
USLChampionship.com Player of the Match
Emilio Ycaza, Rio Grande Valley FC – Ycaza scored the opening goal for the visitors and had a pair of shots overall while completing 30 of 40 passes and recording four interceptions and eight recoveries defensively.
MB – Hugh Roberts (Robbie Crawford) 19’
RGV – Emilio Ycaza 42’
RGV – Robert Coronato (Juan Pablo Torres) 45+1’