On cool night in the Bay, FC Davis and East Bay Stompers took the field for a game that both teams knew could decide their playoff fate. FC Davis sat in third place (11 points), one spot ahead of East Bay (9 points) for the final spot in the Western Conference Playoffs.
A win for FC Davis would put them four points clear of the nearest team to threaten their playoff chances with five games left to play in the regular season.
A win for East Bay would see them leapfrog FC Davis in the standings and take control of playoff positioning.
Having tied the first leg, the winning team would also hold the all important tie breaker if both teams were even on points at the end of the season.
“Both teams knew it was an important match,” said FC Davis defender Dash McNamara. “We went in wanting at least a point knowing three points would put us in a good spot.”
The match started as expected, with both teams showing a bit of nerves and feeling each other out.
Within the first 15 minutes, each side had half chances before the game started to settle in.
East Bay kicked off the action with a flurry of chances around the 20 minute mark. FC Davis goalkeeper Kris Schultz was forced into early action to deny three opportunities for the hosts to keep the Golden Lions level at 0-0.
Shortly after the Stompers pressure, it was FC Davis’ chance to attack as they used the home sides pressure to spur a goal.
Steven Guzman broke free from the East Bay defense off a counter attack, slotted the ball to Carlos Carranza who drilled it into the back of the net as FC Davis went up 1-0 in the 22nd minute.
From that point on the game flipped and the Golden Lions took control of the final 23 minutes of the half, creating two 1v1 breakaways which the East Bay Stompers keeper turned away to keep them in the match.
Going into halftime, Miguel Acevedo felt confident of the teams chances. “This game was playing out like most of the matches we’ve been in this season,” said Acevedo. “We felt the game would be in our hands and would come down to us finishing our chances.”
When the second half began, it was all FC Davis until the final whistle.
Carlos Carranza nearly added a second when his chip shot went over the bar.
That was followed by another quality opportunity for Steven Guzman who forced the East Bay goalie into another save.
In the 64th minute, the game took a fatal turn for the home side when a red card challenge right on top of the box brought the Stompers to 10 men.
Shortly after being a man up, FC Davis scored two goals, one from Carlos Carranza and one from leader scorer Miguel Acevedo to put the away side up for good.
With a final score of 3-0, FC Davis moved four points clear in the playoff stands.
The Golden Gate Conference is off for Memorial Day and the Golden Lions next match will be a home game on June 2nd as the team hosts the Sonoma Sol at Aggie Stadium.
FC Davis center back Brian Ford re-aggravated his hamstring injury.
- Brandon Sako start his first match for FC Davis, going a full 90 for the team at holding mid
- Miguel Acevedo continued his scoring for the Golden Lions with his 6th goal of the season
- FC Davis unbeaten streak is now at 8 games
Next Home Match
FC Davis takes on Sonoma Sol, Saturday night June 2nd, 7:00pm at Aggie Football Stadium. This is AYSO and UC Davis Student Night!