The streak of 2015 EPLWA league matches without a home side winning has reached 8 after both South Sound FC and Seattle Stars FC managed late goals to claim draws on Saturday night in Yakima and Spokane.
Yakima United FC 2-2 South Sound FC
Jesse Esquivel (video interview here) scored a brace in the first half but the Hoppers (1-1-1, 4 points) couldn’t hold off the 10-man Shock who rallied to earn a road point at Marquette Stadium (Yakima Herald report here.)
YUFC took the lead in the 20th minute after great work by striker Hector Valdovinos found Junior Garcia down the left. Garcia’s low cross ended up finding Jesse Esquivel and it was 1-nil Hoppers.
Yakima doubled their lead in stoppage time of the first half thanks to the same trio that had worked their first goal. This time Garcia’s throw-in met Valdovinos, who flicked on to Esquivel, who headed it home.
South Sound regrouped at the break and got new life in the 67th minute on a goal from Eli Peterson. He converted the shot off of a corner kick from the foot of JJ Schmeck.
The Hoppers defense was desperately trying to hang on to all three points, but in the very late stages the Shock made their comeback complete.
Another corner kick in the 87th minute hit various heads on both sides but wasn’t cleared, landing at the foot on Brandon Blanks just outside the six yard box. He fired the ball into the net to level the match 2-2 (video).
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Spokane Shadow 1-1 Seattle Stars FC
Seattle (1-1-1, 4 points) got a goal 13 minutes from the final whistle to capture a valuable away point against the defending EPLWA champion Shadow (1-1-0, 4 points) in Spokane’s 2015 home opener at Spokane Falls Community College (Video and photos from SWX here.)
The night was beautiful and sunny and there was a festive buzz as the Shadow returned for their second season in the Evergreen Premier League. Fans picked up their season tickets at will call and at the half came the traditional Candy Rush with kids on the pitch trying to grab sweet treats.
The second half was won by visiting Seattle, who kept the Shadow offense in check and mounted a few attacks of their own.
In the 77th minute the Stars were level after a nice move down the left side of the penalty box by Seattle’s #7 Peiman Alessandro was follwed by a shot that worked better as a cross. It ended on the foot of Leo Matsuda, who slotted it home.
Last season the Shadow dominated the Stars in 4-1 and 11-0 wins. After taking their league opener 8-2 last week in Wenatchee, the Shadow recorded their second draw all-time at home in 8 EPLWA matches played. Spokane’s record at home over two seasons now stands at 4-2-2. It was the second away draw in the EPLWA history of the Stars. Seattle’s road record over two seasons is now 2-4-2.