SAN DIEGO – Josh Yaro’s first goal in San Diego Loyal SC colors lifted the hosts to a 1-0 victory against Tacoma Defiance on Sunday afternoon at Torero Stadium to continue the club’s progress toward a place in the USL Championship Playoffs at the end of the season.
SD Loyal opened on the front foot and almost took the lead in just the fourth minute as a good cross from the right by Miguel Ibarra found Alejandro Guido for a header from close range that Tacoma goalkeeper Spencer Richey just managed to keep out, leading to a scramble in the six-yard area that saw Guido be denied twice more before the ball popped out to Augustine Williams for a shot that was blocked away by a crowd of Defiance defenders.
Richey made another key intervention a few minutes later to cut out a low cross from the left by Douglas Martinez Jr. before Williams could finish from close range as the visitors took time to settle. The Defiance carved out their first half-chance in the 15th minute, meanwhile, as after turning possession over in the San Diego half, Ethan Dobbelaere played a clever flicked pass down the left side for Randy Mendoza, but his near-post cross went to SD Loyal goalkeeper Austin Guerrero to end the threat.
The hosts continued to carry more of the play and on the half-hour mark Collin Martin fired a low first-time shot from 25 yards toward the left corner of the net that Richey turned wide of the post. On the ensuing corner kick the breakthrough arrived, though, as Charlie Adams’ delivery found Yaro for a header that took a slight deflection on its way to finding the let corner of the net.
Tacoma had a chance to answer off a corner kick of its own nine minutes later but Cody Baker didn’t get full purchase on his header off a deliver from the right by Carlos Anguiano, allowing Guerrero to save comfortably. The defenses began to take more control as the second half began, however, with a pair of blocked shots by Williams for the hosts providing momentary danger as both teams found chances harder to come by. The Defiance almost broke through with 19 minutes to go as Samuel Adeniran got on the end of a good cross from the right by Obed Vargas and headed on target, producing a reflex save by Guerrero, while in stoppage time the big forward controlled a header across goal at the top of the six-yard area but saw the ball cleared by Yaro before he could deliver a finish. San Diego held on for a second consecutive shutout, however, to move into sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division standings.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Josh Yaro, San Diego Loyal SC – The center back provided the only goal of the game and defensively made seven clearances and won 3 of 3 tackles and 5 of 6 duels, while also completing 87 of 92 passes overall.
SD – Josh Yaro (Charlie Adams) 31’