A rivalry is defined as “a competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field.” Tonight the North County Battalion and the Albion SC Pros began a rivalry with San Diego bragging rights and sole possession of first place on the line. After 90 hard fought minutes Albion SC Pros came out victorious 3-1.
The Battalion struck first in the 10th minute on a goal by Esteban Reyes, assisted by Brandon Zuniga, on a shot from just outside the box over the goal keeper’s outstretched hand.
After the Battalion dominated most of the run of play in the first half Albion made a run of their own and almost cashed in. A centering pass landed just outside the six-yard box and Justin Picou used his head to clear a shot off the goal line in the 35th minute.
Seven minutes later Albion finally broke through and equalized the score when a through ball found the foot of David Luquen who went around Battalion goalkeeper Drew Tepping and pushed the ball into the empty net. Both teams went to the locker room tied up at one after 45 minutes.
“Unfortunately a lot of times that’s soccer. Where the momentum is going your way and a couple of unfortunate goals whether they got called back or they’re just offsides,” Coach Ryan Guy said. “And very quickly towards the end of the half the momentum changed and it picked up in the second half.”
Albion continued the offensive momentum from the first half, however they could not muster many serious scoring opportunities until the 5oth minute. Albion took a 2-1 lead when Tre Hayes trapped a bad clearance by Tepping and got around the Battalion keeper to blast a shot into the back of the net.
In the 68th minute Albion extended the lead to 3-1 on a free kick by Matt Clare. The 35-yard rocket bounced over Tepping’s diving attempt putting the pressure on the Battalion to respond.
Albion was relegated to ten men when Luis Cardona was given a red card for a vicious tackle on Guy and had to play the final 13 minutes short-handed. Unfortunately, the Battalion were able to create many chances, but were unable to convert any for goals.
The loss drops the Battalion to 2-1-0 and into second place in the Southwest Division. Albion SC Pro moves to 3-0-0 and sole possession of first place.
Next Sunday the Battalion head up the road to Riverside to take on Deportivo Coras at 8 pm. Limited seats on the team bus to the game are still available. You can find additional information on our website.