Heading into the 9th week of the Golden Gate Conferences, the battle for the 3rd and final playoff spot was just starting to heat up. FC Davis took control of the 3rd position in the standings with a 3-0 road victory against fellow playoff chasers, the East Bay FC Stompers. The Stompers came into the match with a chance to take the 3rd spot with a win at home against the Golden Lions, but instead fell 5 points back of the playoffs at nights end.
The Stompers came out of the gates somewhat on the front foot as they created multiple half chances in the opening 20 minutes of play. It began when Ali Radman fired just wide inside of 3 minutes. That was followed by back to back chances from the top of the box that forced FC keeper Kris Schultz into simple saves in the 21st and 22nd minute.
Following this early spell of pressure from the Stompers, FC Davis was able to hit them with the opening goal on the counter attack as Steven Guzman pulled the cross back perfectly finding Carlos Carranza who made no mistakes to put the visitors ahead 1-0.
This opening goal turned the game in favor of Davis as they went on to dominate much of the remainder of the first half. Had it not been for Stompers keeper Luis Castro who came up with back to back huge 1v1 saves against Davis’ Steven Guzman in the 34th and 35th minute, the host might have found themselves down by a bigger margin at the half.
The final chance of the half came off of a set piece where Gilbert Coulibaly forced FC Davis keeper Kris Shultz into a massive save just before the half time whistle blew. The score remained 1-0 into the break.
In the 2nd half, the Golden Lions came roaring out. Within seconds, Carlos Carranza found himself with a chance to double the lead before he chipped just over the bar. Then in the 48th minute, Carranza forced Castro into another huge save before Anthony Ramos dragged the follow up effort just wide.
Moments later, it was the Stompers turn to apply the pressure as Isaiah Dairo saw his effort cleared off the line expertly by Davis’ defender Brian Ford before Shultz was forced into another huge save off of the ensuing corner.
Then in the 64th minute, the entertaining back and forth affair was ended when the referee showed East Bay’s Dairo a second yellow for his tackle on the edge of the box. This forced the Stompers to play with 10 men as they tried to force a comeback.
While the Stompers hung tough down a man, the visitors from Davis found a 2nd goal when in the 76th minute Carranza’s cross deflected off Stompers’ defender Coulibaly, catching Castro wrong footed. The ball trickled into the net for an own goal.
The match was sealed with a goal in the 82nd minute when Miguel Acevedo finished on the counter attack to give the Lions the 3-0 road victory jumping them up to 14 points in the table. FC Davis is now 4 clear of the chasing pack for the last playoff spot in the Conference.