SF City FC Salvage Late Draw in Home Opener Against Peninsula Derby Rivals Burlingame Dragons

Photo Credits: @theprojectfc

Saturday saw the renewal of one of the top amateur derby’s in the PDL as the SF City FC welcomed San Francisco Peninsula rivals, the Burlingame Dragons, to Negoesco Stadium. Negoesco is the new permanent home of SF City FC for the 2017 season, as they have moved from their previous home at Kezar Stadium.

The match was a hard fought but sloppy affair due to high winds and multiple players slipping on the pitch. The Dragons took the front foot early playing into the wind in the first half. They forced three early corners within the first 10 minutes of the game, but were unable to threaten the City goal.

SF City’s first chance of the game came in the 13th minute when Carlos Carranza poked his shot just wide of the Burlingame goal. This would be one of the few good chances for SF City in the first half as Burlingame would dominate much of the play in the half.

The most dangerous player for Burlingame in the first half was attacker, Matt Wiesenfarth, who forced multiple big saves out of SF City goal keeper, Alex Clewis, as well as causing all kinds of problems for the City defense down the right side. This forced SF City’s wingbacks to play a much more defensive role.

The half finished 0-0, as Burlingame was unable to take advantage of their dominant first half play.

The Dragons came out for the second half in the same fashion as they ended the first half, earning a corner kick within minutes of the restart before forcing another save out of the City goal keeper. This was followed by a mix-up in the City defense in the 55th minute that lead to the best Dragons’ chance of the game, but they were still unable to covert.

Dragons’ attackers, Gabe Silveira and Matt Wiesenfarth, continued to cause the City defense all sorts of problems early in the second half. The pair eventually linked up for the opening goal of the match in the 62nd minute when Silveira made a run down the left wing. He beat multiple City defenders before squaring the ball back to Wiesenfarth, who opened his 2017 PDL account to give the Dragons the 1-0 lead.

This goal opened up the game as SF City began to push for the equalizer. While the Dragons were on the front foot for most of the game up until this point, City became the aggressors and the more dominant team in the final 25 minutes of the match.

City began to create multiple good scoring chances starting in the 76th minute when substitute Ashley Watson slipped in the center of the box from a great cross from Chris Kennedy. Without the slip, it would have been the simplest of goals to tie the game. More chances came City’s way in the 79th minute, when Bryce Kaminski saw his shot blocked after a scramble in the box, and again in the 84th minute when his long range effort went straight into the keeper’s arms.

City finally found their equalizer in the first minute of stoppage time when Captain Danny Kirkland floated a free kick to the back post to find the head of Bryce Kaminski, who headed it home to tie the match at 1 a piece. Kaminski then ran to celebrate with the Club’s supporters.

The Dragons wouldn’t quit however, as Gabriel Borges hit the bar looking for the late winner close to the full time whistle. The match ended with both teams sharing the spoils and taking a point each in this young PDL season. Negoesco Stadium saw an impressive 518 in attendance for the first leg of this Derby. Leg 2 will take place this coming Sunday as Burlingame plays host.