Loyal Finish Preseason With a Huge Road Win
San Diego Loyal Soccer Club went on the road to end their first preseason against Redo 1868 Football Club. Reno 1868, who finished second in the Western Conference last season, looked to be a great measuring stick for San Diego as they are about to embark on their first competitive season in a week.
Right away, SD Loyal looked comfortable and took charge against a good Reno side. Carlos Alvarez had several good looks in the first couple minutes, but could not get his shots on frame. Qudus Lawal also had a look right in front of goal, but this time Reno goal keeper Matt Bersano.
It was Lawal who managed to break through in the seventh minute. It looked to be Joe Greenspan who put a ball into box and Lawal was right there to head it home and send the supporters at the Stone Brewing watch party into a frenzy.
San Diego continued to press and put the Reno back line under pressure. Alvarez had another good look, but this time put it wide, but it foreshadowed what would come just a few minutes later.
In the 24th minute, the San Diego native Eric Avila got a great ball through. He turned and noticed he had a lot of space in front of him as the Reno back line stepped back. He took a beautiful strike and rocketed it into the right side of the goal and put San Diego up by two.
Before anyone could settle down, Tumi Moshobane had a great opportunity to get a third. He was in the box and dribbled around the keeper, but he lost control of the ball and couldn’t find a good shot or any of his teammates and the ball went harmlessly out of play.
The Locals did not have to wait much longer for the third goal though, as SD Loyal earned a free kick in a dangerous location. Charlie Adams stepped up and absolutely buried the shot to make it a three goal lead only 30 minutes into the match and SD Loyal was flying.
Reno did recover and started to play like the team that looked like they were last season. After a couple of chances, Reno put a shot on frame that Jake Fenlason handled well, but Corey Hertzog pounced off the rebound and had a wide open net to get one back and take the teams into half time at 1-3.
The second half did not start the way SD Loyal wanted it to, as Reno was rewarded a penalty in the 48th minute. Hertzog had a chance to double both his goal tally as well as Reno’s. He sent Fenlason the wrong way and brought Reno back within one goal.
The two teams settled in and no team had any big chances, but Avila and Beverly Makangila, who had been subbed on, did had a couple of opportunities. It wasn’t until the 73rd minute when SD Loyal put the game away for good.
Francis Atuahene took a great ball in and turned at the top of the 18 yard box. He was alone and marked by two Reno defenders. It looked like nothing was going to come of it, but he beat them both on the dribble and took a low shot down to the left and in to put four goals on the board.
While it is preseason, and everything should be taken with a grain of salt, going into Reno and winning in that fashion has to feel good for the team. This also will put teams on notice that SD Loyal is here to play and they are going to be a tough team both at home and on the road.
You can see San Diego Loyal in their first game ever against the Las Vegas Lights on Saturday March 7th. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN News or streamable on ESPN. Kick off will be 7:00 pm at USD Torero Stadium.
7’: Qudus Lawal
24’: Eric Avila
30’: Charlie Adams
43’: Corey Hertzog
48’: Corey Hertzog (pen)
73’: Francis Atuahene