A great cross-bay rivalry began on Sunday, June 27th as Bay Cities F.C. Men took on Project 51O, affiliate of Oakland Roots. After a back and forth match up, Bay Cities Men were not able to get a result. Final score was 4-2.
Despite the deficit, there were positives to take from this match. For one, Bay Cities’ striker Kevin Salto was on the scoresheet, bagging his first goal on his third appearance with a strike 12 yards out in the 13th minute.
After Bay Cities had won an early lead, they largely stayed in control for the next 20 minutes, thanks to the combined midfield engine of Jonathan Partida and Carlos Zavala.
Even with Bay Cities’ strong midfield, Project 51O were still able to yield good chances. During stoppage time, a probing cross from 51O’s Omar Lemus was thwarted from a fantastic piece of last ditch defending from Bay Cities’ outside back Adan Rangel. And with that effort, the score remained 1-0 to the home side.
Coming out of halftime, the Project 51O returned yearning for an equalizer. The equalizer did come quickly, in the 48th minute, off the foot of 51O’s Kahveh Zahiroleslam, after a deflected ball dropped nicely for him in the box. Zahiroleslam would find the scoresheet again, this time in the 56th minute, off a miscleared corner set piece.
After the second goal, 51O opted to keep possession, and control the tempo of the game. Bay Cities still managed to get even in the 64th minute, however. A Jorge Lopez free-kick banged off the crossbar, with the follow up headed home by an ultra-aware Diego Medina. Tie game.
It would not take long for 51O to break the deadlock. In the 68th, a gorgeous, threaded through ball from 51O’s Nick Brenes picked out Nick Lemus, who slotted it to put 51O up 3-2. 51O continued to mount attacks, earning an insurance goal, after a Joseph Restani cross connected with Oladayo Thomas, making it 4-2 in the 82nd minute.
While the scoreline suggests a heartbreaking loss for a young Bay Cities’ side, in reality the matchup had its upsides. Young striker Kevin Salto finally got on the scoresheet, the midfield combination of Carlos Zavala and Jonathan Partida continued to gel and Matthew Westly made a set of marvelous saves to limit Project 51O to just four.
Bay Cities will return to Sequoia High School for their second matchup against California Victory FC on July 10th for the first game of the NISA Independent Cup. Kick-off will be at 5:00PM with Pre-game tailgate/activities starting at 4:00PM. Tickets cost $10 dollars and can be ordered online at baycitiesfc.com. Bring the family- buy 4 or more tickets for a 50% discount!