By EBFC Staff
The visitors from Sonoma County came to Oakland on Saturday riding the high of their first win over Sacramento Gold last Saturday. On the other hand, the home team had dropped its first three games by narrow margins, but their record was 0-3-0 nonetheless.
This Saturday’s match was a pivotal one for the Stompers needing to join in on the Golden Gate Conference race.
Team Captain Greivin Pacheco, who also happens to be the captain of the Costa Rica Beach National Team, set the tone early in the 14th minute by taking on multiple Sol defenders and slotting the far post past goalkeeper Arturo Ornelas.
It only took Sonoma 10 minutes to draw the game back to 1-1, when Diego Vasquez snuck free on the back post off of a corner kick. Vasquez got on the loose ball and drove it passed Stompers goalie Dominik Jakubek.
In the 38th minute Pacheco was taken down at the top of the box, drawing a free kick. Pacheco stepped up to the shot and found the upper part of the goal, leaving Ornelas no chance to make the save.
Just six minutes later the Stompers offense stepped up the pressure on the Sonoma County back line and center back Ilya Golubevs intercepted a Sol pass in the box and slid it in the goal for a 3-1 Stompers lead. This would be the score line at halftime.
Not long after the whistle for the second half, Stompers newcomer Junior Leonardo would find himself on the end of a shot that would increase the Stompers lead. Leonardo came on as a halftime substitute and earned his first goal in a Stompers jersey only two minutes into the second half.
In the 66th minute Pacheco would continue on his Man of the Match performance with an assist as he found Ali Radmand running down the right wing. Radmand was just reacquired by the Stompers this week after a stint in Spain for Racing Murcia. Just as soon as Radmand put back on the Stompers uniform he put a ball in the back of the net.
Second-half substitutes Darlin Aguilera found Jorge Ruiz on a great cross from the left wing to the center of the pitch. Ruiz brought down the ball with his chest with great poise and scored his first goal of the season in the 78th.
Both teams put together a few more efforts but the score would end at 6-1 in favor of the home team. The Stompers picked up a much-needed three points in a match that most would have not expected them to win against Sonoma. This match was the largest margin of victory in any game between the two clubs in the eight seasons of the rivalry. It also tied the most goals scored by either in a game from a game dating back to 2015 when Sonoma beat the Stompers 6-2 in the last game of the season at Boxer Stadium.
The Sonoma County Sol sit at 1-2-1 going into an Easter holiday bye weekend. For the Stompers (1-3-0), they will head to Napa Valley 1839 FC (2-0-0) next Saturday for the only Golden Gate Conference action of the weekend.
Photo Credit: Donnie Graham