The San Diego Loyal won their third match of the USL championship over the Las Vegas Lights on Saturday night, with a 2-1 victory that widens the point difference between themselves and the rest of Group B.
After suffering their first home loss of the season to LA Galaxy II in the previous week, San Diego returned to their home field after surprisingly remaining in the top spot in Group B of with 8 points at the beginning of match play.
The Loyal started the scoring quickly with a goal by Tumi Moshobane on a failed attempt by Las Vegas to clear a San Diego cross sent into the five-yard box in the 9′ minute.
The remainder of the first half was an evenly-fought struggle until stoppage time when San Diego was called for a handball the box in stoppage time.
San Diego’s goalkeeper Jon Kempin blocked the penalty kick by Las Vegas and the subsequent shots after the rebound. Ultimately Kempin desperately scrambled to his left to prevent the second rebound by couldn’t save the third attempt, and Las Vegas leveled the score with a goal in 45′ minute. The half ended, and both teams went into the locker room, frustrated over missed opportunities.
In the second half, San Diego regained the lead in the 65′ minute with a driven header by Ivan Parra off a cross into the center of the box, which ended up being the game-winning goal.
Las Vegas mounted attack after attack and held the majority of the possession in the second half. The Loyal stifled Las Vegas, who ultimately couldn’t connect the passes to find an open shot.
San Diego held on with desperation as the game reached the final minutes of stoppage time. With the three points for the win in hand, San Diego saw the finish line.
In the final minute of stoppage time, San Diego tightened their grip on the victory by thwarting a desperate last gasp from Las Vegas that eventually fell short with a soft volley into the arms of Kempin. San Diego’s defense weathered the storm and was integral in earning the three points over Las Vegas.
The Loyal will take the three points and look on to their next match.
San Diego will travel to Los Angeles to take on LA Galaxy II on Wednesday, July 29th, with a 7 pm kick-off time.