The Lancers climbed out of their 7-game winless streak with a triumphant 2-1 win against Long Beach City College.
LBCC put the pressure on the Lancers, exposing their space behind the often high positioned Lancer fullbacks. In the opening minutes, Joey Knowles was called to action clearing out a dangerous cross from the right side.
Set pieces and long throw-ins from the Vikings challenged the Lancers defensive zonal marking, but LBCC couldn’t capitalize.
In the 25th minute, Long Beach capitalized PCC with a dangerous long throw-in by Daniel Camacho into the penalty box, randomly finding Adrian Martinez. The loose ball was blasted high into the net with a little help from the top post.
Losing 1-0, the Lancers once again found themselves climbing out of a hole.
Scrambling to tie things up, PCC captain Joshua Arevalo tested Long Beach’s goalkeeper from 26 yards out in the 30th minute, only to see his shot go wide.
Midfielder Marlon Flores and Joseph Cortez followed suit. Flores’s chance came in the 35th minute, shooting low into LBCC goalkeepers’ right side skinning the outside post. Cortez shot in the same direction as Arevalo in the 43rd minute, but the effort went out wide off target.
For the most part of an unmotivated first half, the Lancers held their ground
Stepping into second half was a PCC team that hadn’t appeared since their 4-2 win against Glendale Community College during pre-season.
“Once we got the first goal [to tie] we knew we were in it,” said defender Christopher Munoz. “Working as a team and actually defending, we actually did pretty good. There were at least 20 in the box and we were able to get [the ball] out.”
The comeback commenced from a set piece in the 53rd minute, off of a lovely 35 yard cross by Cesar Tenaka perfectly finding Alexander Hernandez as his header went past the keepers second post into the net, tying things up 1-1.
The Lancer’s resurgence offered confidence in the final third and in their back line, soaking in any LBCC attack.
In the 82nd minute, Arevalo found an inspired Tenaka, taking the ball forward with all the calm in the world and fired a 23 yard shot into goalkeepers right side, giving the Lancers a 2-1 lead.
“I think in the last match we didn’t do a good job, but we’ve kept practicing to do a better job and that was shown in [today’s] result,” said Tenaka. “I kept practicing set pieces and for the game I told the coach for me to do the same.”
Bryant Sanchez came close to adding a third goal in 86th minute, finessing his shot from outside the box. Despite the effort, the LBCC goalkeeper launched his body quick enough to get a hand to it, sending Sanchez shot out for a corner.
Long Beach’s last chance came in stoppage time via a set piece inside PCC’s half, sending the ball right into goalkeeper Andrew Espinoza’s hands.
Espinoza tallied six key saves from seven shots on target in this game.
Tenaka’s game-winning goal is his first of the season as well as his first assist of the season in an outstanding overall performance.
“We really needed this win because we were losing, we were tying – this win is really going to help us move forward to start playing better as a team,” said Romio Sislian. “I’ve been staying after practice and I could feel it during the game, too. I’m not getting tired as quick and I’m just doing it [because] I want my team to go as far as possible.”
The Lancers visit Compton (10-3-1) on Friday, October 20th at 2:00 p.m.
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