“I’m happy with our ball movement, the way we used short passes and switched the field to create chances,” said Cordoba, whose team finished with 32 shots.
The majority of the Mustangs’ shots were produced by strikers Jose Faboreno, a senior, and sophomore Jorge Sanchez.
Sanchez opened the barrage by cashing in a well-placed free kick off the foot of senior Rodolfo Lara. In the third minute, Lara boomed a pass from 30 yards out near the right sideline that bounded past the keeper and carried just beyond the left goal post. That’s where Sanchez measured it, launched himself into the air and contacted the ball with his left foot above waist level, knocking it into the open net.
Despite the Mustangs’ best efforts, the score remained 1-0, until Faboreno fielded a through ball from Sanchez and penetrated almost to the goal line, before booming a shot on a sharp angle that rolled inside the far post in the 69th minute.
It was a just reward for Faboreno, who fired 12 shots and was clearly the primary pain for the Patriots’ defense.
Faboreno, though, may have made an equally important contribution before kickoff.
“Coming off our big loss against Bolsa Grande, I had a talk with my team, telling everyone to keep their heads up,” Faboreno said. “I was happy with the way we played today.”
Junior Dong-gi Shin, sophomore Jesus Delgado, Lara, sophomore Jesus Estrada, senior Derrick Delgado and freshman Jose Henriquez also had shots for the winners, who posted their second shutout of the season.
Senior goalie Irvin Dorantes fielded more so than stopped the handful of shots from Oxford (0-2-2). His most difficult chance came off the foot of one of his teammates.
Cordoba singled out defenders Jairo Farfan, a senior, Lara and sophomore Brian Delgadillo, recently called up from the junior varsity, for their strong play.
It was the season debut for Farfan, whom Cordoba said missed the first four games with a minor injury sustained with the football team.
Cordoba said Wednesday’s loss may have served to sharpen his players’ focus.
“I think we beat ourselves in that game [against Bolsa Grande] and we were in their third of the field most of the second half,” Cordoba said. “I walked away from that game frustrated, but I think it may have been good for us to take a loss before [Orange Coast] league play begins. When you’re overconfident, there is a tendency to not play hard for 80 minutes. I thought we had better focus today.”