Disappointment. That was the feeling expressed by Napa Valley 1839 FC after the referee blew the final whistle in Saturday’s showdown between the Wine Country side and East Bay FC which concluded 2-1 in favor of the visitors.
After the match Napa head coach Jesus Medina pointed to inconsistency as the reason his side couldn’t earn their first win of the season in front of their fans.
“There was good moments where we were able to have control of the game. However there were moments of inconsistency but despite that we were able to score. Then after the red, we kept trying even with the man down challenge.”
The 750-plus spectators present at Memorial Stadium witnessed a hard-fought first half which finished 0-0. Changes would come early in the second half when two minutes in Gabriel Borges would shoot a ball into the bottom right side of the Stompers goalkeeper goal after receiving a great pass from forward Fardeen Shaiwany.
Napa seemed to have control of the match but East Bay’s Zanin Mahic came out inspired. Mahic a midfielder controlled his team and in the 64th minute assisted Greivin Pacheco after taking the ball down the right side and crossing it which Pacheco would tap in for the equalizer.
Mahic would strike again in the 77th minute, this time taking on a defender in the left side and shooting the ball past goalkeeper Javier Valdez to put the Stompers up 2-1. A minute later a scramble for the ball and physical play would result in a red card for Napa midfielder Saiaz Saenz.
The final minutes of the match would be a desperate 10-men Napa side fighting to equalize the match. Forward and newest 1839 signing Eduardo Blancas challenged the East Bay defense but was unable to convert.
With this result East Bay (1-1-4) earned their first win of the season while Napa (0-3-4) is still seeking their first victory.
Napa will now be heading into a bye week before returning to action on May 27 at Sonoma County Sol for what will be the second edition of the Wine Country Derby.
East Bay FC Stompers will return to Pioneer Stadium May 20 to host Sacramento Gold.