Mistakes and bad plays have diminished City Legends FC as they fall 5-1 to Outcasts FC in the SoCal Premier-Premier Division.
For this matchup, two bottom-table teams face off in the race to avoid relegation in match week 7. For the Perris, CA team, City Legends are just above last-place Outcasts, placing 10th place in the table. Being in 11th place, outcasts sit in the relegation zone and look for some points to escape danger. However, they are the newcomers to the Premier Division after the fallout of FC Lobos due to discipline issues. On their 3rd matchup, Outcasts are 0-1-1 with a 5-1 loss to Real Sociedad and a 3-3 draw to Olympiacos Ca. Meanwhile, for CLFC, just recently they broke their losing slump. Before their 3-2 win last week against Long Beach City, they were on a 4-game losing streak, allowing 23 goals and only scoring 4. Despite having a win to their name this season, CLFC only has 4 games left to avoid relegation. This match is crucial for the Riverside County team as they are at a disadvantage over Outcasts FC, who have practically an entire season ahead of them.
On a hot 90-degree afternoon at Ralph Lewis Sports Complex in Fontana, a crowd of fewer than 10 people showed up to see two teams face off. Outcasts began playing out from the back as the match started, having more possession. However, CLFC winning interceptions from the outcasts bad passes. Fast forward to the 11th minute, and Outcasts get a free-kick outside the box that hits the top post. The bounce lands on an Outcast player’s feet, and he bangs it home. Then, 3 minutes later OFC forward receives a lob pass after winning the sprint race against a CLFC defender and places the shot to the left side of the net for a 2-0 OFC lead.
After the second goal, the game pace would remain the same till halftime. CLFC doesn’t press when the other team has the ball; when they do get possession, they aim to lob the ball to their tall forwards, but the Outcasts defenders win those ariel balls most of the time despite their disadvantage height-wise. Not to mention, CLFC had poor ball control, and their forwards don’t make runs to create plays. So what they do in possession is hold on to the ball, look up, and find a team to the left or right side, and usually, a turnover happens as the Outcasts midfielders are quicker than them to nip the ball or press to win the ball.
Meanwhile, OFC made runs; despite the heat, they were faster, pressed, and won tackles in the midfield, and on the counter, they would find a winger on the final third to push for an attack. After the second goal, the game was back and forth, and either team could get more shots on goal.
The second half began, and CLFC made a goalkeeper change, which was more vocal than the last one. Just 3 minutes into the second half, CLFC got one back from a low cross after the goalkeeper withdrew from the box, and the defenders slide to block the open shot but were proven unsuccessful. CLFC is on the attack, getting multiple corners, but their players react late to 50/50 balls.
They also reach the final third, but their players don’t seem to take shots from a distance. OFC they are now riskier with their lob passes in response to the CLFC goal. Then, on the 72′, OFC takes a shot from outside the box; the goalkeeper makes a good block, but the CLFC defense is slow to clear the ball from danger. The defender gets pick-pocketed, and the OFC forward places it in. 7 minutes later, OFC gets the 4th goal off the CLFC keepers’ failed attempt to dummy the forward in his box, and the attacker places it in.
Finally, in the last play, Outcasts get their 5th goal after a horizontal run on the edge of the box by the forward, then a pass to his teammate, who buys time to set up a shot with his left, and it goes left of the keeper. The ref will blow the whistle to end the game after the goal.
Misfortune continues for City Legends as now they record their 5th loss of the season. With 3 games left in the season for them, they have to turn things around if they want to avoid relegation since they now sit in the danger zone again. In their next matchup, they host LA Power, who are middle of the table and have a 2-1-3 record. For the Outcasts, they move up to 9th place after getting their first win of the season. Their next match is against another Inland Empire team, IER, who has a 3-0-2 record. With a whole season ahead of them, Outcasts must take advantage of this circumstance to place high on the table.