By Gabe Zitrin
Photos of the match by Sean Wang are available here.
San Francisco City Football Club dropped a difficult match 2-0 to the Las Vegas Mobsters in their first home game in the Premier Development League.
City dominated the match in time of possession and chances created, but neither resulted in a goal for the home side, and goals just after the start of each half were enough to secure all three points for Las Vegas.
The visitors struck in just the second minute of play, before some fans were even in their seats. A foul against City gave the visitors a free kick near the left corner flag, and Naia Graham controlled a long ball on the other side of the goal and lofted the ball back across goal for Jackson Collins to head home from close range.
City nearly equalized moments later with a smart goal that began with a Johannes Demarzi run down the right side, but as City’s Ashley Watson fired home a foul was called on City in the box, negating the goal. City captain Nick Littleton made a beautiful end-line run in the 10th minute and played the ball back to Demarzi in the center of the box, but the forward couldn’t get solid contact on his one-time shot, and the ball sailed high and wide.
Demarzi came inches from equalizing in the 26th after cutting the ball back for himself, but his shot was pushed just past the right post for a corner kick. Just minutes later, a nearly identical cutback won Demarzi space for a left-footed strike that beat goalkeeper Alex Clewis but slammed off the crossbar, and the rebound shot by winger Bobby Edwards didn’t miss by much more, sailing over the bar by inches.
Las Vegas doubled their lead minutes into the second half through Esteban Berumen, whose one-time volley off a set piece found the bottom corner of Manny Jimenez’s net. Once again, City used speed on the wings and long spells of possession to create scoring chances after conceding, but over the next half hour they could only force saves and corner kicks, with Clewis denying Ashley Watson, Jordy Hughes, and substitute Adnan Gabeljic. Demarzi created yet another chance with a late run in the 77th minute as a cross was headed his way by a defender, but his volley attempt was high, and Las Vegas was able to see out the game with just enough defending on set pieces and from the goalkeeper.
The only card of the match was given to Las Vegas center back Robert Hines, whose tackle from behind on Demarzi in the 82nd drew yellow from the referee and an unprintable response from the Northsiders supporters’ club.
City play away against local rivals Burlingame Dragons at Burlingame High School on June 10 at 7pm, and return home to face San Diego Zest FC at Kezar on June 12 at 3pm.
Goals: Jackson Collins (LVM), 2’ (Assist Naia Graham), Esteban Berumen (LVM), 48’
Cautions: Robert Hines (LVM), 82’
Shots (on goal):
San Francisco City: 16 (11)
Las Vegas Mobsters: 3 (2)
San Francisco City: 3
Las Vegas Mobsters: 8
San Francisco City: 14
Las Vegas Mobsters: 0
Man of the Match: Johannes Demarzi
James Harden Award for Drawing Insane Amounts of Contact: Nick Littleton
Jonnie Cochrane Award for Solid Defense that’s Also Fun to Watch: Christian De Luna
Best Aerial Defender: the wind