On Friday night, the East Bay FC Stompers hosted their new Alameda County rivals
for the first time in their new home, Pioneer Stadium in Hayward, CA. CD Aguiluchos
was coming off an amazing victory in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night, and
thus left out many of their regular starters. This gave the bottom of the table
Stompers a chance to earn some needed points, but the game would end 1-1.
The first half started out rather slowly as neither team was able to gain any traction
for the first 15 minutes. The first chance of the game went to Aguiluchos, as Flavio
Ramos was played through on goal, but he shot directly at the keeper.
Not much action went either way until the 30th minute, when Aguiluchos found
themselves four-on-two on the counter attack, but didn’t manage a shot. Then in the
32nd minute, the Stompers found themselves on a five-on-three break, but they also
couldn’t manage a shot.
The first major chance came in the 38th minute when Stompers’ defender Diego
Garcia was called for a push in the back in the box, resulting in a penalty. Ross
Middlemiss stepped up to take the penalty kick, and sent the keeper the wrong way
for his sixth goal of the season to give Aguiluchos the 1-0 lead.
Just before the half, East Bay Stompers’ forward Prince Bere (usually a right back)
was one-on-one with the Aguiluchos’ keeper, but he couldn’t find the back of the net
as the half ended 1-0 to the visitors.
The second half started quite slowly with little energy from either side. This all
changed when East Bay put in forward Kahlid Arramdani up top in the 70th minute,
and slid Bere out to the wing.
Within five minutes, Arramdani was on the score sheet with a beautiful flick on a
header off of a cross from the left side to tie the score at one goal apiece. This was
his second goal in only three matches. Arramdani could be a challenger for the
league’s top scorer; he is that talented. However, he does not play every game.
Arramdani’s introduction to the match caused havoc in the back for Aguiluchos. He
created numerous chances for the Stompers. Aguiluchos looked to double team him
every chance they could.
In the 88th minute, some great buildup by Arramdani lead to a scramble in the box
that saw Aguiluchos’ goal keeper make an incredible save on Stompers’ Tommy
Rodda’s attempt at goal. The rebound fell to Arturo Gomez who saw his effort
miraculously saved off the line by Aguiluchos’ defender Bengy Ruiz.
More chances fell the way of the Stompers in stoppage time. First, Eder Guzman
took an open shot, but hit it too close to the keeper. Then Man of the Match
Arramdani beat two defenders in the 93rd minute, and played a perfectly weighted
ball to the center of the box for what should have been the game winning assist.
However, left back Luis Castillo made the run forward, but skyed his tap in chance
from less than six yards out.
The Stompers again turned on the energy too late in the game, and dropped another
possible two points. The Aguiluchos picked up a point to put them on the top of the
Golden Gate Conference standings, along with Sacramento Gold FC. Aguiluchos now prepare for their second round U.S. Open Cup match this Wednesday against USL side Sacramento Republic.