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Instant Playoff Classic as San Francisco edges Davis in Closing Minutes

El Farolito came to Davis as the undefeated and undisputed top ranked team in the West Region of the NPSL.

The San Francisco side is home to a bevy of top level players, with deep experience that has put the nearly untouchable side in rare air for the past two seasons.

On Saturday night, none of that matter when for 90+ minutes, the perennial winners found themselves in a fight for their playoff lives with a team from Davis that matched and exceeded the intensity and grit of the seasoned Bay Area club.

From the opening kickoff, it was clear from both sides it would be a battle for the duration of the match.

At the ‘25 minute mark, FC Davis star Wumi Aladetimi kicked off the scoring, when he drew and converted a penalty to put the home side up early in the match.

Shortly after, tempers would flair when Aladetimi was taken down from behind, and an ensuing scuffle would see Davis’ leading scorer exit the game on double red card. Both sides would play with 10 men for the remaining 60+ minutes.

Later in the first half, El Farolito would tie the game off what seemed to be a routine clearance, as the ball trickled into the net off to the dismay of the home side. The score would remain knotted 1-1 at halftime.

The second half was as open and entertaining of match as you will see. Both sides put in waves of scoring chances, with Lions attacking-mid and UC Davis product Lucas Fernandez-Kim putting on a midfield masterclass, dominating play and putting in a nearly perfect performance for the home side.

In the ‘63 minute, Davis would break the deadlock when Bennett Olsen-Zwick picked up the ball on top of the box and fired in a curling left footed shot in the corner of the net, sending the full house at Playfields into a frenzy.

For 20 minutes, Davis and San Francisco traded attacks, with both sides having numerous opportunities to gain an advantage in the match.

In the final ‘10 minutes, bad luck struck, as El Farolito would send a ball into the box that fell in the six yard box. With bodies flying everywhere, the ball eventually found its way to a poaching El Farolito striker, who smashed it into the back of the net, evening the score in the ‘83 minute.

In the ‘91 minute, a triple deflection sent El Faroltio through on a break, which was followed by a perfectly placed shot off the far post and into the back of the net putting the away side up in extra time.

Finally, in the ‘96 minute, a PK was called and converted with the final kick of the match, sealing a 4-2 victory for the Bay Area side.

Davis will head into the off-season with their heads held high, and a promising core of young talent headed into next season.

FC Davis will kick off 2023/2024 programing starting in August.


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