By Gabe Zitrin
Matt Wiesenfarth’s banner day was too much for San Francisco City Football Club, as the UC Davis product scored four goals and assisted on a fifth as SF City went down 5-0 on the road to Burlingame Dragons. The loss, on a sunny and even hot afternoon at Burlingame High School, sees SF City drop to the middle of the Southwest Division as they await an opportunity to climb back up in the standings.
A week after the two teams drew 1-1 in SF City’s home at Negoesco Stadium, the rematch proved not to be as closely fought even from the opening minutes. A second-minute cross from the right side found Wiesenfarth with just enough space at the far post, and he bounced his one-time header past SF City goalkeeper Alex Clewis for an early Dragons lead that they would hold for the rest of the match.
City answered with a quick scoring push, as they would for most of the afternoon after conceding, but could never push one past Dragons goalkeeper Remi Prieur. Instead, they fell further behind as Wiesenfarth found Jamael Cox in the 20th minute with a throughball in the left channel. Cox was nearly dispossessed on his way through but stuck with the play and forced his way in on goal, finishing low past Clewis and putting SF City in a 2-goal hole.
Cox returned the favor just two minutes later, sending in a long ball for Wiesenfarth that split the center of the SF City defense. Wiesenfarth had enough speed to chase the ball down and fire from close range, giving Clewis no chance and Burlingame an intimidating halftime lead.
Backs to the wall, SF City came out firing in the second half and managed its best chances of the match, having a goal disallowed for offside and then forcing two point blank saves from Prieur in quick succession. But the visitors couldn’t sustain that energy, and Wiesenfarth finished off his hat trick in the 55th minute to finish off an impressive display of ball movement from the Dragons.
With the outcome no longer in doubt, SF City did begin creating more chances from the run of play. Halftime substitution Davi Ramos was especially active, taking a Gerardo Mendoza throughball to work himself space for a cross from the righthand side in the 65th minute and sending it in towards fellow substitute Johannes Demarzi, whose one-time shot hit the side netting. Ramos then tried to play provider for Robert Hines with a pretty ball flipped over the Dragons defense, but Hines was at a difficult angle and pulled his shot just wide.
Wiesenfarth’s final goal of the afternoon was just gravy for Burlingame, and the result of good fortune more than his others. Second-half substitute Diego Lopez’s cross from the left side was deflected off a defensive foot, which somehow sent it right to Wiesenfarth’s head for a close-range header that Clewis did well just to get a hand to on its way in.
SF City have a week to work out their issues, as they return home to face Ventura County Fusion on May 28, hoping to rediscover the form that saw them win 3-0 in Ventura County earlier this month.