NorCal Game of the Week June 16th: Stompers Dominate Napa to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
The East Bay Stompers kept their playoff push alive with a thoroughly dominating 6-1 performance over Napa Valley 1839 at Pioneer Stadium on Saturday night. They were led by the Club’s all time leading scorer, Khalid Arramdani, who bagged 4 goals in an impressive Man of the Match display from the striker.
The Stompers started the game fast and took the game to Napa early and often. Khalid single handedly terrorized the Napa starting center backs within seconds of the kick. The Man of the Match on the night would seal his hat trick inside of 9 minutes to put the Stompers out of touch early.
It started in the 6th minute for Arramdani who headed home from a cross to put the Stompers ahead 1-0. He then followed this up in the 8th minute when he got behind the Napa center backs easily beating them for pace before rounding the keeper to double the lead. Following the ensuing kickoff not more than a minute later, Arramdani found himself behind the Napa defense again and this time he chipped Napa keeper Javier Valdez and all but ended the game with his hat trick.
Napa was able to pull one back in the 13th minute when East Bay switched off for a second following the 3 goal outburst to make the score 3-1. Napa’s Safiullah Azizi played in a perfect cross for Marco Reyes Gomez who scored the goal for the visitors lone bright moment on the night.
The Stompers continued to see chances throughout the first half as the Napa backline allowed them to get in behind their defense all too often. The Stompers other forward Lewis Saxelby forced Napa keeper Javier Valdez into two huge first half 1v1 saves in the 15th and 33rd minutes to keep his side somewhat in the match headed into half time.
The second half started a lot slower in pace than the first half as the Stompers looked set to preserve their 2 goal advantage for the remainder of the match. They began to soak up the Napa pressure and look set to hit them on the counter attack over the top.
The Stompers would go on to put the game to bed with 3 late goals as the game got stretched. First in the 72nd minute when Khalid Arramdani once again found the back of the net as he punched home his 4th goal off of a rebound to make the score 4-1.
Then it was Lewis Saxelby’s turn to get on the scoreboard in the 80th minute when Stompers captain Zanin Mahic rolled him in on the counter attack before he buried a deserved first goal of the season after returning from a long injury layoff. Then a minute later, Zanin was in on the break again and this time kept it himself to round the keeper and put the exclamation point on the match giving his side their 6th of the night and the deserved 3 points.
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