PLYMOUTH — They don’t ask you if it was pretty only if you won and Plymouth’s #12 ranked (ISCA coaches poll) Rockies survived an NLC slugfest with Concord 2-1 and stayed unbeaten in conference action.
A struggle that looked like it might remain a scoreless tie had a frenzy of activity in the final 16 minutes to end in a Plymouth win. The difference was a pair of goals by Jose Rosas.
The Plymouth junior nailed a shot from just to the right of the box for the first score and added another seven minutes later off a header in front of the goal by Adrian Cardona to give the Rockies all they would need.
“We weren’t our best tonight,” said Plymouth coach,” said Plymouth head coach Grant Masson. “It was very physical and you always get physical games when you play Concord. This is the first time we’ve beaten these guys in as long as I can remember.”
“They are still alive in the NLC, we are on top of the NLC and they wanted to make a statement and they almost did,” said Masson. “We were not on our best. We were a little bit slow a little bit sluggish, but the sign of a good team is a team that can win when they are having a bad night.
“When Selvin (Pagoada) is not on the ball you can always count on Jose Rosas to pop up and put the ball in the back of the net which he did.”
Plymouth came out in attack mode as is their style but found a Concord team that was able to match them with speed in many spots and with a solid defensive plan.
“They came out in a 4-3-3,” said Masson. “They matched us. You’d think when they have a young team like they are they’d play a 4-4-2 and play more defensively.”
“(Concord’s) Shawn McCuen is a great coach,” he said. “He came out here to win. He said we’re going to play our game. We’re going to play physical offensive soccer. We had to summon everything we had to win this game tonight.”
Plymouth was able to dominate possession early in the first half but the Minutemen settled in and were able to get some solid looks of their own at the goal.
A Plymouth run at the end of the half missed leaving a scoreless tie.
Opening the second half the Rockies turned up the pressure.
“We made no changes at halftime except to get the ball off our foot,” said Masson. “Play a little faster play a little bit harder and match up to those guys.”
Plymouth had some very good opportunities at a score.
A great defensive play by Concord’s Ernesto Martinez turned away a Rockie opportunity at the 19-minute mark. Pagoada couldn’t find pay dirt in a one on one at 36 minutes and Alex Jiminez Baca missed just high at 34:50 in front of Rosas heroics.
After being turned away on a big opportunity earlier in the half Concord’s Dominic Castillo made a crossing pass in front of Plymouth keeper Fernando Pacheco count for the only Concord score of the night with 1:21 to play.
Plymouth turned away a run at the end by the Minutemen to preserve the lead and the win.
Masson praised the depth of his team for the victory.
“We’ve got two or three players that we know can put the ball in the back of the net,” said Masson. “We have (Adrian) Cardona who is injured and not at the top of his game but we have Ivan Turcios who can step in so I’m a lucky coach. We have some really good players.”