No. 1 Cerritos put on upset alert against RHC

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Photo by Matt

#21 Ruben Gonzalez dribbles the ball towards Cerritos’ goal on October 18, 2022.

RHC Men’s Soccer put Cerritos on upset alert after a close 3-2 loss against the number one team in the state.

Coming into this game, Cerritos was ranked number one in the CCCAA with a record of 12-0-2. Both teams knew this game was huge for the South Coast Conference standings and it showed throughout the whole ninety minutes. 

Rio Hondo came into this game winning two in a row in the conference, leading the standings with Cerritos College. This game was definitely a preview for a playoff matchup between these two teams.

Both teams started off slow, keeping each other in the middle of the field and rarely taking shots. Once the lights turned on after a 10 minute delay, Cerritos scored two quick goals and took all the momentum away from the Rio Hondo defense. 

Later in the first half, Ebenezer Chinne scored on a penalty kick giving the ‘Runners their first goal of the game. As the first half came to a close, RHC had the momentum going into the break. The second half became one of the most intense forty-five minutes I have ever seen. 

RHC made noticeable improvements at the start of the second half by keeping possession and taking shots on transitions. Cerritos became a lot more aggressive on and off the field due to the impressive play by the ‘Runners. 

Second Half Drama

During the early second half, both benches started jawing at each other. Coaches and players had to be separated by the referees as the intensity became at its highest point. Later that half, RHC drew a penalty kick, tying the game at two a piece. 

The game stayed tied for 20 minutes, until a controversial foul was called against Rio Hondo, giving Cerritos a chance to take the lead. Goalkeeper Arturo Bustamante Jr gave his all on the penalty, but it wasn’t enough. Cerritos took the lead and the win with a final score of 3-2. 

Coach Orlando Brenes was very impressed with his team he but knew his men could have played better, “We missed our chances too, and unfortunately that’s soccer.” Brenes said. “But I thought our boys played well too… We’re the comeback kids.”

Brenes knew coming into Tuesday night that it was going to be tough to beat the number one team in California, but the ‘Runners showed grit and determination and fought valiantly in an exciting conference game.

What’s Next for RHC? 

The Roadrunners drop to 7-6-3 overall and 2-2-1 in the conference after Tuesday’s loss to Cerritos. The team will travel to Compton to take on an underperforming TarTars team in hopes of bouncing back.