Entertaining, emotional, and electrifying were words to describe Saturday night’s match between Napa Valley 1839 FC and FC Davis. The fans in attendance witnessed a tough battle in which both sides were required a victory to remain in a position to enter the NPSL postseason.
The first match between these two clubs resulted in FC Davis not only taking the three points but also dominating the Wine Country side at UC Davis Aggie Stadium. A different story played out in the Napa Valley.
“It was a well fought out game, physical and emotional,” said defender Marco Reyes, who scored his first goal for the club. “The fact that we were able to give our fans a victory makes us feel good. Scoring was amazing but being able to help my team secure the win is what matters most. We have to continue this momentum to keep fighting for a playoff spot.”
It didn’t take long for the locals to celebrate. Early on Napa set the tone of the match by pressuring the Davis back line and controlling the midfield. Napa Valley 1839 FC forward Bryan Marin, who missed the first encounter between these two sides was fouled in the FC Davis goal box and awarded a penalty. Francisco Mendoza would be in charge of putting the ball in the back of the net and wouldn’t disappoint six minutes into the match. Celebrations at Dodd Stadium would erupt for a second time in the 11th minute thanks to Mendoza once again. “Pancho” chants were heard as Mendoza celebrated with his teammates after taking a free kick from 30 yards out that just got past Davis goalkeeper Kris Schultz.
Napa would control the remainder of the half with great connection in the midfield between Jorge Lua, Nomialay Hashim and new signing Jorge Luna.
Davis would have the chance to cut the lead in half just before the half, but Davis would see their opportunity cleared away by Napa defender Keagan Angevin. The home team would head into halftime with a 2-0 lead.
Entering the second half neither side would see any changes. Strong play from FC Davis midfielder Andisheh Bagheri would see his side create chances. It was in the 67th minute when Davis would get another opportunity at goal. A ball crossed would pass untouched by any FC Davis forward bringing a sigh of relief to goalkeeper Javier Valdez and the home crowd.
Napa would make their first substitution in the 75th minute and shortly after seal a victory that keeps their playoff hopes alive. Mendoza would appear once more assisting Marco Reyes in the 80th minute to make the score 3-0. Davis would threaten to shorten the lead in the 88th minute with a strong shot that Valdez would deflect onto the post to preserve his third clean sheet of the season.
Napa Valley 1839 FC will continue their playoff hunting quest Saturday visiting East Bay Stompers at Pioneer Stadium in Hayward. The match is scheduled for a 7:30 pm start. FC Davis will host Sacramento Gold on Sunday June 17 at UC Davis Aggie Stadium.
With only one point separating Napa (13 points) and Davis (14 points) both clubs will not only be paying attention to each other’s matches but also Sonoma Sol’s result as they are currently in third place with 15 points.
Contributor: Daniel Morales/Napa Valley 1839
Photo Credit: Ian Burgeson