By Jonny Rico-Aviles
June 17, 2013 – San Diego, Ca. – With only three games to go, the San Diego Flash are currently tied in points with FC Santa Clarita for the last playoff spot in the Western South division of the NPSL, so every point is important.
San Diego Boca currently last place in the same division had nothing to play for except for municipal pride. Nothing would make Boca happier at this point but to be the stumbling block in the road of their local rivals San Diego Flash as they try to make the playoffs.
It all seemed like the San Diego Flash was going to completely dominated their local rivals as in just three minutes the home team already found themselves on top on the scoreboard. The goal came from a Flash corner kick.
There was an initial header in the middle of the box, and Flash forward Justin Picou appeared in the back post to slam in the ball.
The joy of the goal did not last too long for the home team. Five minutes later in the 8th minute a cross came in from the right side, Flash defender could not properly clear the ball and left it bouncing inside the box. San Diego Boca midfielder Bret Haase was well aware and ready to smash in the loose ball into the net for the equalizer.
After the equalizing goal it was the visiting Boca that surprisingly took control of the match. The San Diego Boca players pressured high up the field and caused several mistakes from the Flash defenders, but could not capitalize on them.
San Diego Boca also seemed very dangerous from the long throw-ins that would land deep inside the box for anyone to header. Flash defense were able to contain most of those throw-in crosses.
Right before halftime in the 41st minute the home side were able to calm down the nerves with a goal. Boca goalkeeper came out of his goal to cut down a Flash attack, but was not able to hold on to the ball. Flash forward Justin Picou was following the play and only needed to push the ball into the empty net for his second goal of the night and give the Flash a 2-1 lead over their city rivals.
To start the second half San Diego Boca once again pushed forward and dominated the play as they searched for the equalizing goal. San Diego Flash just looked to survive the Boca onslaught and eat away the time.
San Diego Flash were able to shake off the San Diego Boca pressure with ball possession. With good passing in the midfield the Flash looked to control the clock with their ball possession, but did not really create any danger on Boca goalkeeper Tad Caraway’s goal.
With the score still close San Diego Boca never gave up on the quest for an equalizer. In the 75 minute Boca came close to that goal but Flash defender Nate LeBoffe was able to clear the ball off the line.
Five minutes later the visiting Boca found what they were looking for. Flash goalkeeper Cameron Riley made a diving save from a shot from within the box. But the rebound came straight to Boca’s David Laquen who pushed in the ball to make the score 2-2.
The game could not end without a little controversy. Feeling the pressure of chasing the playoffs, the Flash pushed forward looking for the winning goal. In the 89th minute Flash forward Justin Picou went down in the box claiming a slap to the face from the Boca defender. Center referee did not give the penalty call and ordered the game to continue. Picou would then earn himself a yellow card you for heavily arguing with the referee his no-call.
The game came to a close with the score 2-2 and the Flash have now complicate the trip to the playoffs by not being able to get the win. The Flash are still in control of their destiny though because they will host FC Santa Clarita in the final game of the season. Before then the Flash must travel to Las Vegas to take of the Stallions in a must win game for the Flash.
West-South Division Standings:
24 – FC Hasental
20 – San Diego Flash Soccer Club
20 – FC Santa Clarita Storm
17 – Orange County Pateadores
7 – Las Vegas Stallions FC
5 – San Diego Boca FC
In addition to the normal halftime raffle, 2 tickets for the upcoming Team USA vs Guatemala match at Qualcomm were given to a lucky San Diego soccer fan!
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