Las Vegas Lights FC came from behind to defeat Oakland Roots 2-1 at Las Positas College Turf Field on Saturday in USL Championship action.
Young LAFC homegrown defender Tony Leone scored the winner, the first goal of his professional career, to give Vegas a crucial three points on the road in the Pacific Division.
Las Vegas featured seven loanees from LAFC in the starting XI, including Leone, although Bryce Duke was a late scratch and Christian Torres replaced him.
Oakland, meanwhile, had to make several changes after the initial announcement about their XI, apparently due to health and safety protocols. As a result, their gameday roster ended up only being 14 players.
It was Oakland that got the opening goal, in the 24th minute, courtesy of Tarn Weir. Lindo Mfeka stole the ball in a favorable spot and sent it to Weir, who buried it with authority.
The teams went into the halftime break with Oakland leading 1-0, Lights FC getting several looks and holding the edge in shots and shots on goal through 45 minutes, but with nothing to show for it.
Las Vegas pushed for an equalizer in the 2nd half, and they found it in the 55th minute from Danny Crisostomo, who ran onto a deflected ball in the box and smashed in the one-timer to make it 1-1.
From there, Las Vegas got the go-ahead goal in the 74th minute, through Leone. A corner kick in the mixer bobbled its way to Leone, and the young center back hit the target when the ball bounced to him.
Oakland tried to get a late equalizer but nothing doing, and Lights FC hung on for the win. It was a strong performance for Steve Cherundolo’s side, which battled after going down a goal and were far stronger overall in the 2nd half, and statistically were the better side overall, too. All in all, a deserved win.
The victory puts Las Vegas above the playoff line in the Pacific Division, at least through Saturday. Their next match is scheduled for Wednesday against Sacramento Republic, who have been on a long skid. Can they get revenge for the early-season loss they took in Sacramento? We’ll find out.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.