Napa Valley 1839 FC, in their first home match of the season, gave the home crowd the result they were all hoping to see. What seemed to be a complicated match between Napa Valley 1839 FC and Academica SC turned out to be a splendid match. Napa Valley 1839 FC finished with a 3-0 win over new expansion club Academica SC. With 350 fans in attendance cheering from the stands, 1839 FC took the field with new signings Lukas Schubert, Max Alvarez, and Allan Estrada.
The first half of the game was scoreless with great possession and attacking from both teams, but neither lucky enough to hit the back of the net. In the 39th minute of the first half, Academica SC had an attacking chance in front of the goal with three consecutive blocked saves made by 1839 FC goalkeeper Javier Valdez-Raya, who was also Man of the Match. It wasn’t until the second half when 1839 FC was able to put the ball past Academica SC goalkeeper Bernado Garcia three times. 1839 FC started the second half with substitute Brian Marin, who was able to put his team on the board in the 60th minute. Marin got a boot on the ball from 25 yards out and was able to get the ball right over Garcia, who was subbed on at the half.
After getting on the board, 1839 FC’s momentum changed and were hungry for more. They defended with pressure and attacked with more energy just wanting to score again. Two minutes after 1839 FC’s first goal, Academica SC had a counter attack with a one-on-one opportunity, but an amazing save was made by Valdez-Raya to keep the lead. Osvaldo “Balon” Vazquez was playing a great game technically and physically was destined to score a goal for 1839 FC. It was not until 65th minute where “Balon” got his foot on the ball from a cross on the left side and was able to find the net. In the last minute of regular time Valdez-Raya had another amazing block from a one-on-one Academica SC opportunity.
The game went into injury time in the 94th minute when Francisco Gonzalez, who was subbed on at the 84th minute of the game, received a cross from Victor Calderon on the right side where Gonzalez was able to put a head on the ball and put it right past Academica SC. That was the final whistle and 1839 FC were able to take the victory for the home opener at Dodd Stadium in Napa. Valdez-Raya had an amazing game with many saves to keep a clean sheet, receiving Man of the Match honors for being vocal and guiding 1839 FC to victory.
After the game, Napa Valley 1839 FC Head Coach Jesus Medina commented on how he saw the players play the home opener. “They played great, but nervously due to being the first game, the first 20 minutes we dominated. However, Academica tightened up and gave us a battle. During the second half we broke the ice and were more connected where we were able to win the game and it all feels great.”
Napa will now battle an away game against Sacramento Gold FC on March 17 at Capital Christian High School. Academica SC will prepare for a show down for their first home game against Sonoma County Sol FC that will take place at Academic SC’s home field in Turlock.
Photo Credit: Ian Burgeson