The two most recent winners of the NPSL West Region squared off this week in a match up between top of the Conference table, CD Aguiluchos, and bottom of the standings, Sonoma County Sol. The two sides are very familiar with one another, having been the two most dominant teams in the Conference in recent years and having even matched up last year in the playoffs.
The home sided, Aguiluchos of Oakland California, got the first goal just before the half time break before going on to win the match 3-0 to keep themselves atop the Conference.
The first chance came early in the match in the 4th minute of play when Aguiluchos’ striker Jesus Maldonando was in on goal before Sonoma’s Jorge Alvarez made a last ditch tackle in the box to prevent his side from falling behind early.
The rest of the first half was a fairly balanced match, although the Aguiluchos dominated the possession. They failed to threaten the Sonoma County goal until the 37th minute when Simon Rawnsley stole the ball from Sonoma keeper Sean Taufer who got careless at the back. However, the final product was saved by Taufer off the shot from Anthony De Souza, who surely felt that he could have done better.
Moments later Simon Rawnsley found himself in on goal 1 vs. 1 with Taufer in the 38th minute, but he missed his shot just wide of the post. Rawnsley found himself with another chance in the 41st minute, but saw his effort tackled away by Sol’s Nicolas Lombardi to keep the score level.
The break through was eventually found by the home side when a throw in trickled through the Sonoma box into the path of Victor Ramirez who coolly but the ball into the back of the net to give the Aguiluchos the 1-0 lead in first half stoppage time.
The second half started much like the first half as Aguiluchos dominated the possession without really treating the Sonoma goal. That is until Man of the Match Victor Ramirez found himself once again unmarked on the back post to double the Aguiluchos lead, scoring his second of the game In the 60th minute.
Then Aguiluchos star striker, Simon Rawnlsey, had the chance to seal the match minutes later when he was once again 1 vs. 1 with the Sol’s keeper, who once again came up with a massive save to keep his side in the match for the time being.
The Sol began to turn up the pressure in search of a goal to pull them back into the game. The first chance fell to Jesus Arroyo who dragged his shot wide of the post, but that was just the begimng of the Sonoma pressure.
Moments later in the 75th minute, long time Sol player Brenton Frame forced the Aguiluchos keeper, Kevin Gonzales, into his biggest save of the game to preserve his clean sheet. On the ensuing corner kick, the ball fell to Edgar Amador whose laser strike rebounded off of the cross bar as once again the score remained 2-0.
This wasn’t the end of the Sonoma pressure as both Sol strikers, Omar Nuno and Brenton Frame, would test Aguiluchos’ goalie, Kevin Gonzalez, who was up for the task with two more difficult saves in the 78th and 79th minutes of the match.
The match was put to rest in the 80th minute when Simon Rawnlsey found himself in on goal on the counter attack one last time, but this time he would find the net to give his side the 3-0 lead, and the 3 pts to keep them atop the Golden Gate Conference standings.