YAKIMA, WA – Coming off a win in Spokane last weekend, Tri-Cities Alliance FC headed up to Yakima to take on a second consecutive Evergreen Premier League Columbia Division opponent. Facing off against Yakima United FC and knowing the match would be televised on SWX and NBC Right Now for the entire area to see, the Lions were ready for a challenge. With the familiarity of the players and coaches stretching back a decade or more, this match had the potential to be tightly contested – and that proved exactly the case!
The early stages of the game saw Yakima United FC being the aggressor. The Hoppers had several chances on goal but TCAFC goalkeeper Tonio Gonzalez and the Lion defense was aided by the wind and the Hoppers came away empty handed on their attempts.
In the 36th minute, TCAFC forward Ricky Chicas, playing in his first match with the squad, took a beautiful pass from midfielder and team captain Julio Andrade and finished past the Yakima goalkeeper to give TCAFC a 1-0 lead.
That was all they’d need to secure the win and three points.
The game settled into a defensive battle as both teams had several more chances but none that netted. Just after halftime, Gonzalez was forced to make a great save as a Yakima forward unleashed a shot that Gonzalez tipped up and over the crossbar.
Shortly thereafter, Lion’s midfielder Mario Guizar put pressure on the Yakima goalkeeper. Guizar launched one ball just over the crossbar and then forced a save by the Hopper goalkeeper.
It was more of the same as Yakima upped the attacking pressure in an attempt to find an equalizer. It almost came in with less than a minute left in regulation.
Yakima forced a midfield turnover and found a Hopper forward streaking toward goal. Yakima’s forward was one-on-one with TCAFC defender Memo Silva – who was up to the task and made an excellent sliding tackle that ended what ended up being the Hopper’s last threat.
For his effort on the back line, Memo Silva was voted as the Man of the match for Tri-Cities Alliance FC.
Tri-Cities Alliance FC hosts divisional rival Spokane Shadow at 7pm at Lampson Stadium. Tickets can be purchase online or at the stadium. Additional ticket information is available here!