San Diego Loyal Earns First Home Win at USD Torero Stadium
San Diego, Calif. - San Diego Loyal SC (SD Loyal) earned its first home win against the same team it faced in its inaugural game at USD Torero Stadium. Irvin Parra and Tumi Moshobane scored in each half in the 2-1 win against visiting Las Vegas Lights FC Saturday.
Parra's goal sent coach Landon Donovan's team to three more points in the standings while adding a milestone in its first season. The first home win comes after SD Loyal (3-1-1, 10 points) lost to LA Galaxy II last week and a 1-1 tie against Las Vegas Lights FC March 7. But that was a different Las Vegas Lights FC team with a different coach. Frank Yallop took over as the manager during the stoppage of play in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yallop came in to replace the fired Eric Wynalda, who was the coach the last time Las Vegas Lights FC was here to tie against SD Loyal.
Yallop had to prepare his team for Saturday's match having only been with the team since June. Las Vegas Lights FC had not played since that last match against SD Loyal March 7. Nearly five months transpired since that night.
Saturday night, it was Parra coming off the bench and scoring four minutes after stepping onto the pitch. The Inglewood, Calif. native sent in a header into the lower left corner of the net off a Moshobane left-footed cross from left to right.
It was Moshobane's second time taking part in a scoring play. The South African striker had opened up the scoring early. He sent in a loose ball that came off the crossbar in the ninth minute to give SD Loyal the 1-0 lead. The scoring play developed from a cross by Jack Metcalf from right to left. Moshobane got a header on the ball but Las Vegas Light goalkeeper Edward Delgado stopped the point-blank shot. It then deflected off the crossbar as SD Loyal forward Ben Spencer went after it, but it was Moshobane who was there at the goal line to kick it in with his left foot.
Las Vegas Lights FC (0-1-1, 1 point) tied the match moments before halftime when Rashawn Dally put back a shot off a penalty kick play. Dally sent in the ball after SD Loyal goalkeeper Joe Kempin blocked the penalty kick then the following shot off the rebound. Kempin couldn't get to the third shot as Dally charged the SD Loyal goal line to tap in the ball to tie the game 1-1. The penalty kick call was made for a handball in the area.
"It's really hard to giving up a goal going into halftime especially when we played pretty well with stretches in the first half," Donovan said. "The message was 'forget about it'. It's over there's nothing else we can do so we got to get ourselves over it and play well again and find the gold win the game and that's what they did and really proud of them."
Donovan subbed Parra in along with speedster Francis Atuahene. The move paid off as SD Loyal began to move the ball fluidly upfield and found success using the flanks, ultimately, setting up Parra's scoring header against his former team.
"Tumi's played really well for the last two weeks and really wanted to reward himself with a great performance," Donovan said. "He made a great play on the side here to get off a cross and also, Irvin, probably in the last three weeks has been incredible teammate. He's really helped this team out and we're all very happy for him because he deserved to score. It was a great finish and a big, big, three points for us."
SD Loyal will now head into a midweek match when it visits LA Galaxy II Wednesday July 29 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.
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