By Denton Diablos FC
Sunday evening proved to be historic for the Denton Diablos. In their second NPSL game of the young 2021 season, the Diablos faced their crosstown rival, the Fort Worth Vaqueros, at Gateway Park in southeast Fort Worth. This match found the Vaqueros entering with an 0-2 record and the Diablos fresh off their season opening 2-0 win over Katy providing their 1-0 record on the season.
After 45 minutes of scoreless action, the Vaqueros struck first, counterattacking off a Diablos corner, driving the length of the pitch in the 48th minute to slot home the 1-0 lead for Fort Worth. It would take only seven minutes for the Diablos to respond with Brandon Cerda slipping in Julian Barajas who calmly slotted a low cross that Ricky Becerra tapped in for the equalizer.
Only five minutes later, in the 59th minute, Eoin Wearen connected on a Brandon Cerda corner kick to nod home the 2-1 lead. Not to be outdone, the Vaqueros immediately responded in the 64th minute with an equalizer of their own, from an impossible angle, to tie it up at 2-2.
In the 69th minute, after a turnover in midfield, the Vaqueros were able to slip in behind the Diablos defense and slot across a ball that was buried home for the second Vaqueros lead of the game. In the 76th minute, Carlos Manriquez found himself free down the left-hand side and his cross was deflected onto a wide open Julian Barajas who calmly slotted home the equalizer, knotting things up at 3-3.
The Diablos wasted no time in reclaiming their lead, when Jakob Fiol found himself on the end of Cerda’s curling through ball and coolly slipped home the far post shot giving the Diablos the 4-3 lead with just over 12 minutes to play.
But the Diablos weren’t finished with their offensive explosion, saving perhaps the absolute best for last. In the 88th minute Adan Garcia found himself on the end of a poorly cleared ball from the Vaqueros defense and sent home what could be a goal of the year candidate with an absolute golazo from approximately 30 yards out from goal.
The fitting nightcap helped seal the deal and provided the Diablos with a 5-3 away win in the first leg of the Chisholm Trail Clasico as well as three big points in the NPSL Lone Star Conference standings.
“This is a huge moment for the club and for this team specifically,” Diablos owner Damon Gochneaur said. “While the season is still early and the job is not done yet, this is another step towards the goals we have as a team, and a validation that the work the boys put in on the training ground each week is paying off in tangible results. Huge three points. On to the next!”
The loss pushed the Vaqueros to 0-3 on the season in NPSL Lone Star Conference play, falling to the bottom of the table. The Diablos, however, find themselves affixed to the top of the Lone Star Conference after six points in two matches and a 2-0 record on the young season.
The Diablos return to action this Saturday, May 29th as they host the return leg of the Chisholm Trail Clasico in beautiful Denton, Texas. Tickets on sale now at dentondiablos.com/tickets.
Photo Credit: Matt Morgan