San Francisco City celebrate their 4-3 extra time win over Davis Legacy in the 2016 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Photo: Instagram @SFCityFC
Supporter-owned San Francisco City reached the brink of qualifying for their second consecutive Lamar Hunt US Open Cup after knocking out the Davis Legacy in a game that will go down in club lore as a famous victory.
City was down a goal three times to their northern foes, but came back each time to post a 4-3 victory in front of a crowd of 862 fans at Kezar Stadium.
“It wasn’t easy at all,” said assistant coach Shaun Ramsden, who was stepping in for City head coach Paddy Coyne, who was on family leave. “First half performance, we kind of never got going, we were very sluggish, we allowed the other team to play. It just wasn’t the performance that I’ve seen from them this season.
“At halftime, we got into the locker room, and I was just telling them to up the tempo, make sure that we were working together as a unit, basically because I felt in the first half, we were very individual, we weren’t working as a team, and that was costing us,” Ramsden added.
After the Legacy took the lead in the 79th minute on a composed finish from central midfielder Andisheh Bagheri, defender Marc Tonkel leveled the game with a close-range header just one minute later, setting up an 85th minute winner.
Johannes Demarzi, who found himself in the attacking third on more than one occasion, slotted a cool finish on a breakaway home, before ripping his shirt off in celebration.
Demarzi had earlier earned the home side a penalty in the 67th minute after Bagheri clipped him in the box from behind.
Danny Kirkland stepped up to the spot and made no mistake from 12 yards out (VIDEO BELOW), drawing the game level at 2-2 after an early own goal from defender Adam Ringler and a header from Kevin Schulte gave the Legacy a 2-1 halftime lead over City, who could only manage a scrappy first-half goal from UCLA product Reed Williams.
The Legacy were shorthanded due to injuries sustained while the majority of the team took part in the NIRSA National Soccer Championships, a tournament for college club teams, just two days earlier.
The majority of the Davis team was pooled from the UC Davis Club soccer team, and therefore, only 14 players traveled for the Legacy, who were clearly gassed by the end of the 90 minutes.
City took advantage of that, scoring the two late goals to keep their Open Cup dream alive.
While San Francisco currently plays in the NorCal Adult Premier League, sources have told TheCup.us that City expect to soon announce that they’ve been granted a spot in the Premier Development League for the 2016 PDL season.
San Francisco will need to win just one more game, tentatively scheduled for April 1, in order to qualify for the 2016 tournament proper.
Evan Ream covers soccer in Northern California for the Davis Enterprise. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanReam
Shots (on goal)
SF City: 14 (8)
Davis: 12 (7)
SF City: 4
SF City: 17
SF City: Barry McCabe (58)
Davis: Ian Palmer (51), Julian Ruzzier-Gaul (62)
8th minute – DAVIS, Carlos Lezama ricocheted shot.
24th minute – SF CITY, Reed Williams, assisted by Johannes Dimarzi and Ben Flatley.
26th minute – DAVIS, Kevin Schulte (unassisted).
68th minute – SF CITY, Danny Kirkland (penalty).
79th minute – DAVIS, Andy Bagheri, assisted by Carlos Lezama.
80th minute – SF CITY, Marc Tonkel header off throw-in, assisted by Arthur Bahr.
85th minute – SF CITY, Johannes Dimarzi, assisted by Danny Kirkland.