Photo Credit: L.E. Baskow/Lights FC
For the third time in a row, Las Vegas Lights FC protected home turf and earned a victory at Cashman Field. Taking on Saint Louis FC in 100+ degree heat, Lights FC won 1-0.
If you love crisp passing and controlled possession, this was not the match for you. Neither club was able to dominate the ball or move it with much consistency. The Lights relied on their typical strategy of knocking the ball forward towards Sammy Ochoa and hoping he can control it. Daigo Kobayashi had a quality effort from outside the area that hit the bar, but the club mustered little else.
Saint Louis didn’t have a much better gameplan, unable to find any player with the pace or creativity to trouble a injury-riddled Lights’ defense. The hosts started Juan Herrera-Perla, Marcelo Alatorre, and Nicolas Samayoa, his first start with the club. Joel Huiqui appeared as a stoppage time substitute, but the club didn’t have the services of Miguel Garduno or the suspended Marco Cesar Jaime Jr.
After a scoreless first half, Las Vegas scored the lone goal of the match five minutes into the second frame. Off a Saint Louis turnover, Samayoa fired a perfect pass way down the pitch and found Raul Mendiola in stride. The winger calmly tucked the ball in past Tomas Gomez on the break. Mendiola was all action, all night for Lights FC.
With the one goal lead, Las Vegas would have the better of the chances down the stretch. Saint Louis never even forced a save out of Ricardo Ferrino, though he did make a few heroic clearances on corner kicks and crosses into the box.
The 1-0 win puts Las Vegas at 20 points on the season, five points behind the last playoff position. The club now hits the road for the rest of the month, starting with a double match week coming up, taking on OKC Energy FC on Wednesday before traveling to South Texas to face RGVFC on Saturday.