Hoppers claim tough win at WestSound

SILVERDALE, WA— Yakima United FC is back in the win column after a tough 3-2 win over WestSound FC on Sunday afternoon in Silverdale.

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Jesse Esquivel (second from right) is congratulated after he gave Yakima an early lead on Sunday in Silverdale. (David Falk)

The home side likely leaves this result feeling unlucky. After all, WestSound FC created numerous chances and hit either the crossbar or post six times in the second half. It had their crowd of 137 shaking their heads in disbelief. Don’t look for sympathy from Yakima, though. The Hoppers had their own issues and agenda. They had not won a match since May 30th, when they beat WestSound back in Yakima, 5-2.

Photo Gallery: Match shots by David Falk at Facebook.com/EvergreenPremierLeague

This time it was a battle for sixth and fifth places, and the Hoppers got in the first punch.

In the 7th minute Jesse Esquivel continued his recent string of goals (he now has four) by putting YUFC up early. On the play the WestSound defense had lost some shape and even a bit of a strange bounce didn’t stop Esquivel’s shot from finding the back of the net.

Just two minutes later WestSound were even when Kyle Schoales cleared some space and dished the ball to Izzy Deluna, who knocked in his fourth goal of the season.

Izzy Deluna (left) eyes the incoming ball. He scored a brace to help the WestSound cause. (David Falk)
Izzy Deluna (left) eyes the incoming ball. He scored a brace to help the WestSound cause. (David Falk)

It looked like it might be a high-scoring match, but both clubs clamped down and it remained 1-1 at halftime.

Yakima United got their advantage back shortly after the break when Willie “Ceppi” Pineda chipped WestSound goalkeeper Brian Meherg from the right side of the penalty box. It was 2-1 Hoppers on Pineda’s first goal for Yakima.

Izzy Deluna scored his second of the match  in the 61st to make it 2-2. Deluna also scored on Saturday against Vancouver. He’s now in the race for goalKING with five.

WestSound was busy hitting the woodwork and requiring saves out of Yakima goalkeeper Jacob Rhoades. Meanwhile the Hoppers made the most of a trip back the other way in the 73rd minute when Guillermo “Memo” Silva lashed a long-range beauty into the home goal. The Hoppers were up, 3-2.

Willie "Ceppi" Pineda (center) is congratulated after he put the Hoppers up 2-1 in the 48th minute. (David Falk)
Willie “Ceppi” Pineda (center) is congratulated after he put the Hoppers up 2-1 in the 48th minute. (David Falk)
Jacob Rhoades watches as his save hits the post in the second half. Yakima cleared the ball as it bounced back into the box. (David Falk)
Jacob Rhoades watches as his save hits the post in the second half. Yakima cleared the ball as it bounced back into the box. (David Falk)

WestSound pushed forward for an answer. It was a hotly-contested free-for-all in the Yakima box for minutes at a time. Rhoades stood his ground, at one point diving (see photo) in spectacular fashion to push a ball away. The save hit the post and bounced directly back into play but not on the foot of a WestSound player.

Rhoades later left the match and was replaced by Antonio Gonzalez. He made several important grabs in the final minutes as Yakima held on for the win.

WestSound starting goalkeeper Jordan Hadden was on the sideline on crutches after getting his ankle banged up on Saturday against Vancouver.

The Hoppers (4-7-1, 13 points) jump back up past Wenatchee into fifth place with the win while WestSound (2-9-1, 7 points) falls into last place behind Seattle with the loss.

The hard-fought match ended in dejection for WestSound FC. (David Falk)
The hard-fought match ended in dejection for WestSound FC. (David Falk)

 

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