The home opener couldn’t have gone much better. After a 2-2 draw on the road to begin the summer campaign, San Jose City FC earned its first win of the season beating Monterey County FC 2-1 at Evergreen College.
Both teams were clearly feeling each other in the opening minutes, yet San Jose City FC looked the more dangerous team. In the 30th minute, the home team’s effort payed off as forward Salifu Jatta broke the deadlock for the second straight game.
“They can start attacking us instead of just sitting back the whole game, Jatta said. “It makes the game more open.” Jatta capitalized on a miscommunication between Monterey defender and goalie, giving him a one on one opportunity that he shot past the keeper.
Darren Sinclair, who came on as a substitute notched the second goal for San Jose, one that would turn out to be very important. Sinclair had two opportunities which he failed to take advantage of, but in the first half stoppage time proved third time's a charm.
Midfielder Juan Torres hit a nice through ball switching the field to Sinclair on opposite side, who took one touch and the rest was history. Sinclair rocketed a side-foot volley from outside the penalty box which nestled in the bottom left corner, out of the opposing goalie’s extended reach. The whistle was blown shortly after and San Jose was up 2-0 at the break.
“We really wanted to come out and get on them early and I think we did that with the two goals in the first half. From then on, it was a little easier to manage the game,” said defenseman Kyle Schumann.
Monterey struggled getting much going in the second half and showed visual (and verbal) frustration.With the lead, San Jose played more tactical and possession oriented second 45, maintaining possession and focusing on a steady build up.
Things got a little interesting towards the end of the match when San Jose’s goalkeeper Edgar Benitez had trouble with a back pass that was picked up by an Joseph Cairel of Monterey. Benitez slid to redeem himself, clipping the player and the referee pointed to the spot. Joseph Cariel stepped up to the spot, and scored cutting his side’s deficit in half, but it was too little too late. Sinclair’s goal would end up being the game-winner.
“Being here at Evergreen in front of the home crowd is great,” Schumann said.
San Jose resumes play this Sunday against Simple FC. The game is set to start at 7:00 p.m. at Mayfield North Field 1.