Men’s soccer: Roadrunners Make it Hard for Themselves in Win

Tuesday, Oct. 9, Juan Pablo Jimenez’s second-half goal secured a Rio Hondo men’s soccer 3-2 win against the Chaffey College Panthers at Rio’s soccer field.

Jimenez, a freshman forward, capped off an evening of hard work by the Roadrunners in the 47th minute with a header that looped over Chaffey goalkeeper Oscar Carbajal. In command of the match for most of the 90 minutes, the Roadrunners did have to endure short patches of vulnerability. Two Chaffey scores flattered the scoreline as Roadrunner head coach Orlando Brenes and his men dictated the style of play on the field but allowed two goals.

“We won it. Parts were ugly, but we won it,” said Rio head coach Orlando Brenes before mentioning that the team’s only defect this season has been finishing teams off early when given the opportunity.

A 2-0 lead late in the first half for the Roadrunners seemed to put the Panthers out of the contest. Rio’s inability to keep full concentration until the halftime whistle, allowed Chaffey back into it after the Panthers cut the lead in half with a goal.

Sophomore midfielder Ricky Sotello scored his second goal of the season in the ninth minute. Just before substitute freshman forward Tobias Garcia scored his fifth of the year for Rio 30 minutes. And later to place the Roadrunners up two scores. A counter-attacking goal from the Panthers’ sophomore defender Adrian Macia made it 2-1  just before the break.

“Our goal is to play 90 minutes,” said Brenes when asked about his team’s lack of concentration in short spells during matches, “I would say we played 80 minutes today [in full concentration]. We gave up a couple goals that I don’t think we should have given up.”

Jimenez’s tally early in the second half. Put the Roadrunners ahead by two goals for the second time in the game to add security. Chaffey’s sophomore forward Ricardo Collado scored to cut the lead to one goal once more with 15 minutes left.

“It’s crazy, I was in the air thinking if I should bring it down or not but I just hit it and it went in.” said game-winning goal scorer Jimenez about his leap that bettered Carbajal’s scramble for a crossed ball into the box by freshman midfielder Miguel Hernandez.

Up next the Roadrunners take a break from South Coast Conference to play as a quartet of non-conference matches loom. The next home match will be against Long Beach City College on Friday, Oct. 19, with a 6 p.m. kickoff.