The PDL season kicked off this weekend and with it so did two of the Leagues’ newest expansion sides as the San Francisco Glens played host to the Santa Cruz Breakers. Both clubs have long been two of the top academies in Northern California and both decided this year to add a new PDL first team.
The match kicked off late afternoon at historic Boxer Stadium in front of a crowd of 565, made up of academy kids, families and some long time Glens’ fans dating back to their time in the San Francisco Soccer Football League of decades past. While the match was an entertaining one, it was the traveling Breakers who stole the show late with a 90th minute winner, picking up the early 3 points.
The first 15 minutes of play was fairly balanced with both teams seeming content to feel each other out. Following this first 15 minute feeling out period, the home town San Francisco Glens began to take control of the match as the wind played a factor.
“It was a good match. I though the Glens played really well and I thought the wind played into the match a little bit as far as possession,” said Breakers Head Coach Mike Runeare. “First half they had a good spell of possession, but then in the second half we were able to take advantage of that.”
The best chances of the first half came for the Glens in the final 15 minutes. In the 34th minute of play, Mihn Vu fired just over the bar. The Breakers responded with their best chance of the half moments later when Willy Miranda fired just over the bar on the doorstep.
Then the Glens finished with two more chances late in the half, first when Diego Lopez was played through, but fired his shot into the side netting, and then again moments later when Marcus Simmons fired just over the bar from the top of the box as the half ended scoreless.
“In the first half we were able to move the ball around a bit, but we weren’t able to hold onto it and they applied themselves, and then we kind of did the same thing in the 2nd half and started to take away some of the available options that they had,” said Mike Runeare.
The 2nd half saw less chances in total, but the host Glens had one major chance in the 70th minute of play when Ranier Platinos danced down the touch line, beating multiple players before laying it off to Spencer Held who would see his shot blocked by the Breakers defense.
The match remained scoreless until the final moment when Will Miranda of Santa Cruz found himself in behind the Glens’ defense and brilliantly finished into the top corner of the net to give the Breakers the win at the death.
“It’s pretty special to get a win in your first match in the PDL. I think that both teams really battled well, both teams had some chances and they got in the box a number of times. It was pretty exciting,” commented Coach Runeare after the match. “I think this win is pretty special for the Club and we are all pretty ecstatic about that. We know it’s just as easy to be on the other end of that. It will be fun and a great time for us to play at home in Santa Cruz.”
The two clubs will face an immediate rematch as next week the SF Glens travel down to Santa Cruz for the Breakers inaugural PDL home opener.