FC Davis concluded their regular season with a trip Napa Valley 1839 on Saturday night.
Although the visit to wine country didn’t hold any weight in the Golden Gate Conference standings, it held massive implications for the upcoming National Playoffs.
A win would put the Golden Lions in second place in the West Region, only behind national power FC Golden State from Los Angeles.
A second place standing in the West Region means Davis is awarded home-field advantage for at least the first two rounds of the National Playoffs.
The game started off on uneasy footing for the visitors. A slow start handed Napa an early lead when at the ‘5 mark, a 25 yard volley put the hosts in front 0-1.
The goal and ensuing celebration seemed to wake up Davis, who quickly responded with two goals of their own.
First it was Kennedy Chongo who slotted away a through ball to tie the game, followed by identical goal for the Lions by Andisheh Bagheri. Both goals were assisted by Thomas Arnstein.
While more chances came for Davis, the half-time whistle blew with the score 2-1.
At the start of the second half it was more of the same.
Davis was applying constant pressureon the Napa Valley 1839 goal, while the home-side was putting players behind the ball and looking to counter.
The Davis offensive firepower was too much for Napa, when at the ‘70 mark the home side broke when Andisheh Bagheri drew a penalty. Miguel Acevedo calmly slotted the ball away to put the Lions up 3-1.
An awkward injury sequence pulled Napa Valley back into the match. Noah Wilson needed to come off for the Lions and was told to go off on the far side of the field. Before Davis was able to get their sub on and organized, a quick throw in was taken by Napa and the Lions scored an own goal from 25 yards out to make it 3-2.
After a long confrontation with the center referee, Davis kicked into gear and scored two goals, one from Joe Skrvarna and one from Kennedy Chongo to put the game away and seal the 5-2 victory for FC Davis.
The game capped off a stunning season for the Golden Lions, finishing seven points clear at the top of the table with a 8-1-2 record.
Next up for the Golden Lions is the 2019 NPSL playoffs against Academica SC on Saturday night, July 6th at 7:00PM!
It's win or go home!