By Stephanie Guevera
Men’s soccer lost by a polemical offside goal, 1-0, in the last minute of the game against Rio Hondo College on Friday at Weingart Stadium.
“Players should either win, lose or draw games, not officials. It’s simple. The game was evenly matched. It could have gone both ways. Let the players decide. Don’t let an official decide in the 90th minute of the game. That’s wrong at every level,” ELAC head coach Eddie Flores said.
After East Los Angeles College dominated most of the game, Rio Hondo forward Angel Flores took a pass from his teammate who was coming from an offside position and scored. ELAC players were in disbelief after they saw that the referee didn’t call the play offside.
“Sometimes we have no control on what the refs say, or what calls they make. All we can do is kind of go with it. I didn’t think it was a goal. I thought it was off-side, but we can’t turn the refs call back. We have to adjust to whatever happened,” ELAC defender Jorge Chavez said.
Rio Hondo head coach, who is an ELAC alum and former men’s soccer coach, Orlando Brenes said ELAC had great opportunities where they could have gone ahead on the scoreboard.
“It was a very physical game. It meant something to both teams and it was our first league game. I felt this game could have gone either way.(ELAC) had a couple of good scoring opportunities, and so did we. We went one-nill, but I give nothing but praise to Eddie Flores and his team, because they are a good team,” Brenes said.
ELAC freshman right back Salvador Ramirez went one-on-one with the opposing goalkeeper on a counter attack in the first half, only to have his strike kicked out of the trajectory of the goal by a Rio Hondo defender.
This play was reciprocated by ELAC, as Ramirez blocked a Rio Hondo shot on goal in similar fashion.
“Things happen. That play came from an identical play from the back. I saved a goal like that on our side, so the exact same thing happened to them,” Ramirez said.
Players from ELAC seemed frustrated because the referee didn’t call Rio Hondo’s fouls.
ELAC sophomore goalkeeper Ivan Barranco became the key player of the game after saving Huskies from three clear shots on goal. In some instances of the game Barranco spoke to defenders so they would keep the defense strong.
ELAC played the most intense and physical minutes of the game during the extra minutes the referee gave.
“We played a well fought game. I think we were the better team today. They (Rio Hondo) got a lucky opportunity with a little help from the ref. It was a very physical game.,” Chavez said.
ELAC’s offense attacked Rio Hondo until the referee’s final whistle. The Huskies have scored 10 goals in 10 games played.
ELAC’s next game is on the road at Pasadena City College on Friday at 4 p.m.