Napa Valley 1839 FC, in their final home match of the season, gave the 1,100 fans in attendance at Memorial Stadium something to celebrate about on Saturday night. The lone goal of the match between the Wine Country side and CD Aguiluchos USA came via a penalty kick that Francisco Mendoza converted in the 37th minute.
The third meeting between Napa and CD Aguiluchos was an even contest with both sides having opportunities to score on numerous occasions. Napa’s Eduardo Blancas led the attack creating opportunities and pressuring the Aguiluchos defense. It was in the 35th minute when the 15-year-old took a shot which would deflect off the hand of an Aguiluchos defender inside the 18-yard box, resulting in the referee calling a penalty in favor of Napa. Mendoza would score his third goal of the season and second against Aguiluchos.
“Lalo was very consistent and effective when pressuring the opponent,” Napa head coach Jesus Medina said about Blancas after the match. “Persistence when attacking and creating opportunities for the team including the PK makes him the Man of the Match tonight.”
As time passed in the second half Napa kept looking a second goal and came close in the 73rd minute via Gabriel Borges when taking a long range shot which was tremendously saved by Aguiluchos goalkeeper Kevin Esquivel. Just minutes later 1839 goalkeeper Javier Valdez Raya would come up big for Napa after saving a one-on-one Aguiluchos approach. With minutes remaining Napa would go defensive and gave no time or space for the visitors to create chances.
It was a great performance and a resilient one after a heartbreaking tie at East Bay a week back against the Stompers.
“It feel great to finally get a W,” Gabriel Borges said. “We’ve been working real hard for it and were glad it happened here in front of our fans who have supported us all season long despite the results. We’ll take this momentum into the next match and work to finish the season off with another win.”
Napa will now enter a bye week before finishing off their season on July 8 at Casa Grande High School against Sonoma County Sol in what will be the third edition of the Wine Country Derby. CD Aguiluchos USA will prepare for Sonoma County Sol as well for a July 2 showdown in San Leandro’s Burrell Field.