The East Bay FC Stompers just earned their second win of the year, beating the Sonoma County Sol on their home field on Saturday, May 21st. The third and fourth place teams hooked up in a clash for the potential third and final Golden Gate Conference playoff spot.
When the game started, the Stompers seemed to still be on the bus driving up to Santa Rosa High School. The Sol took advantage of East Bay’s slow start, and scored within the first three minutes of the game. Marcos Barragan got free down the right wing and put in a cross to Omar Nuno, who was unmarked between two Stompers defenders. Nuno buried his header to make it 1-0 for the Sol.
The Sol continued to dominate for the first 10-15 minutes of the game. Following an East Bay FC corner, the Sol found themselves on a five-on-two breakaway, but couldn’t even manage a shot. This was followed by a chance to the Sol’s Simon Wheatley who was in on goal and went for the chip, but it was saved easily by the Stompers’ Jose Majano.
The Stompers began to build their way into the game, with their first chance falling to striker Khalid Arramdani who beat the Sol defenders, but his shot was a tame effort right at the keeper.
In the 25th minute, the Sol looked to make it 2-0, but East Bay FC defender Emanuel Vazquez cleared the attempted shot off the line. Within seconds, the Stompers found themselves with a chance as Arramdani beat three Sol players, and played in the cross to a wide open Lewis Saxelby at the far post, who made it 1-1.
The rest of the half would see fairly balanced play with both teams having a few more half chances, but neither having any major chances. The half would finish 1-1.
Sonoma County Sol opened the second half with the majority of the possession, pushing to take the lead back. The Sol’s Marcos Barragan played in another nice cross in the 56th minute to Brenton Frame, who pushed his header just wide.
This was followed by a flurry of attacks by the Stompers that saw Arramdani get in one- on-one with the keeper and not finish. This was followed by another half chance to Arramdani, leading to a long range effort by the Stompers’ Eder Guzman that went just over the bar.
The Sol then had their turn to take the lead in the 64th minute as Edgar Amador’s unbelievable 35-yard effort hit the underside of the cross bar and stayed out. Nico Spann saw his effort a minute later go just over the bar, and the score remained tied.
Man of the Match Kahlid Arramdani would break the deadlock in the 80th minute, when his pace beat both of Sol’s tired defenders down the middle, and he casually tucked home the finish to give the Stompers the 2-1 lead.
Arramdani would seal the match with a second goal to go with his earlier assist in the 88th minute. As the Sol pushed for an equalizer, Arramdani was able to find himself on a breakaway and beat the final two Sol defenders with his pace, and then beat the keeper to give the Visitors a much-needed 3-1 win.
This victory closed the gap between the Sol and the Stompers to two points in the race for the potential final playoff spot.