04 Apr Albion Pros Capture 2016 NPSL Season Opener with Road Win
Albion Pros (1-0-0) stamped their arrival to the National Premier Soccer League with an Opening Day 1-0 away win against last season’s league runner up Deportivo Coras. It’s a massive win for Albion Pros in their quest to be NPSL National Champions. The historic win against such a high quality side proves Albion Pros are the real deal. Coach Ziggy commented after the game, “I think it’s a massive win. In going up against one of the top teams in the division, historically speaking, we couldn’t have asked for more…to energize the team, fans, staff and community.”
Playing at UC Riverside in front of more than 300 fans, the Albion Pros knocked on the door early and often. In the second minute Captain Luke Staats almost provided a dream start for the Pros after trying to prod home a deflected free kick cross from Luis Cardona. With Deportivo Coras on their heels, Albion continued to press for their first league goal. Winger David Luquen crafted a handful of chances from the left side to combine with other forwards Matt Clare and Marquis Brooks, but neither could find a way through a resolute Coras defense. Then, Man of the Match GK Jean Antoine was called into action on a few counter attacks by the speedy Coras attackers. He bravely came out to claim a few high crosses, using his entire 6’3” frame. The resulting clearances forced Antoine into saving two fizzing shots by tipping the ball over the crossbar. Yet Albion Pros kept pressing for the opener and finally got it as defender Jeff Hughes towered above the Coras defense to head home a free kick from Cardona into the far post in the 40th minute. 1-0 Albion Pros at halftime.
After the break, both teams searched for goal to change the dynamic of the game. It was end to end with forays by both teams into the box. Neither team was able to craft many openings until fresh legs were brought on. Midfielder Oscar Ortega and Forward Tre Hayes were subbed on for the Pros and immediately contributed to creating clear-cut chances, but neither could ripple the back of the net. This allowed Coras to surge forward in search of an equalizer, forcing GK Antoine into some smart saves by claiming some dangerous crosses.
Coras kept pushing and almost found an equalizer with a header from just inside the six-yard box but a point blank save from Jean Antoine kept the clean sheet. Albion Pros kept their composure through the onslaught and were able to grind out the road victory versus a quality team.
You can find exclusive footage from the game on Albion Pros social media channels @AlbionSCPros on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM
Albion Pros vs Temecula FC
Mission Bay HS Stadium – 2475 Grand Ave. San Diego, CA 92109
Special Guests: American Outlaws