The Golden Lions downed Academica SC (Turlock) in a feisty affair Saturday night in Davis, courtesy of two second-half goals, including the 88th-minute winner from Soroush Salari-Namin.
The fierce rivalry between FC Davis and Academica, dubbed the “Cowtown Classic” for the clubs’ rural roots, once again lived up to the hype, as the Golden Lions avenged last year’s defeat in Turlock to lay claim to the Milk Can Trophy.
In a game that would eventually see the visitors reduced to ten men, the physical tone was set early with both sides drawing penalties in the first 15 minutes only to be thwarted by the opposition’s keeper. However, Academica’s pressure and possession eventually paid dividends as they snatched a 1-0 lead that would carry them into halftime.
After the intermission, the Golden Lions battled back into the game, creating a well-deserved equalizer when Axel Ramirez tapped home a low cross capping a beautiful run by Wumi Aladetimi.
With nothing to separate the sides entering the final quarter-hour, the tide shifted decisively in FC Davis’ favor when an Academica player was shown red for dissent in the 78th minute.
Following the sending off, the Golden Lions leveraged their man advantage to apply relentless pressure, and finally broke open the Turlock side’s defense in the 88th minute when Salari-Namin found the back of the net following two desperate Academica goal-line clearances.
With the 2-1 victory, Davis finished off a truly epic Cowtown Classic and solidified their hold on 4th place. The Golden Lions will look to carry their momentum into a June 4th match-up versus 1st place Sacramento Gold.