Real San Jose, behind two goals by veteran Danny Martinez, beat the San Francisco Stompers 4-2 Saturday night in its 2015 home opener.
“It was a good game because it seems people want to see goals, and they’re going to get them when we play,” said RSJ Manager Nick Arellano after the match.
On a chilly night that had most fans wrapped in overcoats and blankets, the two Bay Area rivals played a game with a few quirks to it.
For instance, for more than 20 minutes, there was only a single shot on goal and the game was fought mostly in the midfield.
The game then opened up. Martinez, now in his seventh season with RSJ, scored. Jake Wiffen doubled that lead in stoppage time when he scored from long range.
In contrast to a dearth of obvious goal scoring chances in the first half, there was a goal scoring deluge after the intermission.
At 61 minutes, San Francisco’s Khalid Arramdani scored to cut the RSJ lead to 2-1 at 60 minutes. The Stompers continued to pile on the pressure. RSJ goalkeeper Jonathan Arellano was forced to make some nice saves as the game was played before his net.
Despite the San Francisco flurry, Martinez, of RSJ, scored again. The RSJ lead was now 3-1.
Arramdani quickly countered with his own second goal to cut the lead 3-2. San Francisco, at this point, had more shots on goal. The Stompers’ hopes of tying the game were harmed, however, when Gustavo Tavera-Rico was sent off after being issued his second yellow card.
RSJ, now playing with a man advantage, iced the game at 83 minutes after Nick Vargas headed in a ball that skimmed off a teammate.
After the match, Martinez, of RSJ, said the aura around RSJ is the best he’s ever seen.
Arellano, his manager, credited Martinez with working hard to make himself a better player and leader.
“Danny’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen him – and I’ve known him since he was three,” Arellano said.
San Francisco Manager Martin Sierra said his team had improved over last week’s performance. But he said mistakes cost his team points, particularly the stoppage time goal in the first half.
Sierra, for his part, credited RSJ goalkeeper Jonathan Arellano with preserving the victory for his team.
“He was probably the best player out there tonight,” he said.