Wenatchee, WA – Yakima United FC have faced Wenatchee FC in EPLWA league play three times in the past year, to date it has lost all three of those matches. The most recent being last night at Wenatchee Valley Community College. Under stormy skies that would end up serving as a fitting analogy for Yakima’s trails against their Central Washington rivals.
The early moments showed that the streak may be coming to an end with Yakima registering three opportunities to finish in the opening stages. The most promising of those came in the 11th minute as Wenatchee FC goalkeeper, Mauricio Sanchez, was closed down by Hoppers striker Hector Valdovinos who failed to capitalize on a miscontrolled ball played by Sanchez. Just three minutes later Wenatchee would go ahead and seal the victory as Jonathan Rodriguez slotted home in the 14th minute. From there the Capitals were content to sit back and take their chances in the form of counter attacks, taking time out of the game wherever possible.
That tactic proved effective as the Hoppers were unable to break through the Wenatchee backline. Opportunities still came and Yakima looked sure to level the score as both Jesse Esquivel and Junior Garcia got behind the Wenatchee defense, in the first half, but were unable to score the needed equalizer. Wenatchee nearly got a second in the 32nd minute, but were squelched by a brilliant triple save by Hoppers goalie Antonio Gonzalez.
The second half saw more of the same as Yakima searched for a way back into the contest. United threatened and created chances but saw few serious attempts on goal. Armando Escobedo nearly got the goal the Hoppers needed in the 63rd minute when he found himself all alone in the penalty area from a free kick, but sliced just wide. The Capitals continues to threaten on the counter attack nearly finding the back of the net on a few occasions. Several stoppages in play for both serious injury and perhaps some gamesmanship from Wenatchee FC saw the contest peter out during the 9 minutes of stoppage time, and hosts were able to hang on and clinch all three points as Yakima’s hard luck streak against the Capitals continued. Perhaps when the two rivals meet again on Sunday, June 21st at Marquette Stadium in Yakima, the Hoppers will finally be able to get one over on their neighbors.
Yakima United’s next game comes at home, next Sunday, as they square up against Bellingham United FC, who the Hoppers beat 4-0 just two weeks ago in Bellingham. Kickoff will be at 1pm.