FCM Portland traveled to San Francisco to play El Farolito in an important playoff matchup. In El Farolito’s first season in the NPSL, they surprised everyone in the Golden Gate, going undefeated in their conference. Boxer Stadium’s grass field was the first time FCM had played a game on a grass surface since 2016, so they knew there was going to be an adjustment period. FCM were quick to adjust to the grass pitch, getting off a few early shots on goal.
El Farolito countered quickly with a few shots of their own. The game was scoreless until the 24th minute when Alex White played a ball to Reed McKenna, who put it in the back of the net to make it 1-0. El Farolito possessed the ball very well in their half of the field but continued to struggle getting behind the FCM defensive line. Scott Dalrymple comes up with a few clutch saves before halftime.
Much of the same game continued second half as FCM continued to press forward for the second goal. El Farolito fought to possess the ball, waiting patiently for the right opportunity to send the long ball for the equalizer. Things changed midway into the second half, when FCM substituted in the fresh legs of forward Luis Galeano and winger Nick Evans.
Within minutes FCM found themselves with multiple chances at the goal. Finally in the 78th minute Nick Evans beat multiple defenders and launched a shot from just outside the 18-yard box that the El Farolito keeper got a hand on. But as the ball was slowly bouncing into the net on the grass pitch, Galeano comes from behind to bury the shot to ensure the goal. FCM continued with the momentum and minutes later awarded with a penalty kick, which would just about seal the victory for them.
The experienced Farolito keeper picked the correct side and made a great save to keep their playoff hopes alive. The huge save brought the spark back into the Farolito team as they continued to press forward looking for a goal, but FCM Portland’s goalkeeper made multiple, near impossible acrobatic saves inside the six-yard box in the final 10 minutes.
The game finished as a 2-0 win for FCM Portland as they advanced in the playoffs.
Contributor: FCM Portland
Photo Credit: FCM Portland