Fresh off of a 4-nil win in the club’s home opener of the UPSL Summer Season 2016, the Santa Ana Winds looked to continue their dominant scoring as they took on the equally determined Newcastle United FC at SAC Soccer Field.
The match began poorly for the Winds as Newcastle United came out with high energy and quick ball movement. The visiting team from Upland, CA demonstrated their fast-paced style of play, which lead to utter dominance in possession for the first quarter of the game.
In the 25th minute, Newcastle United FC took advantage of the high defensive line played by the Winds. With the Santa Ana side in full attack mode, a simple clearance pass from a Newcastle defender to one of their forwards allowed them to sneak by the defenders playing a bit too close to the visitor’s side. By bringing the ball up left field and forcing the goalkeeper to advance, a simple chip in over the keeper led to the first goal of the game.
Then began the rollercoaster. Newcastle’s team started to slow its roll as the young Santa Ana team upped their offensive energy and relentless attacks. In the 45th minute, a defender from the opponent’s side committed a foul which led to a set piece for the Winds. The shot on goal was blocked but put back into play only for Winds defender Juma Abdul-Razzaq to rebound it into the back of the net for Santa Ana’s first goal of the match.
The referee added six minutes to the clock, but the Winds only needed three to score again. In the 48th minute of the half, striker Brian Rodriguez took the seemingly tired defenders of Newcastle for a dance to the right of their post where he was able to clip the ball right under the diving goalkeeper. At this point, the Santa Ana Winds looked at an advantage as the referee blew his whistle for the half.
Coming into the second half with the lead, the Winds kept the ball rolling. In the 50th minute, midfielder Henry Alfredo Arivas took possession of the ball, brushed past a central defender, juked right of the goal and crossed the ball in past a diving goalkeeper. But the high of the rollercoaster was seeing its end, and the fresh legs of Newcastle took advantage of the faulty defense just four minutes later.
Another high line of defense by the Winds underestimated the explosiveness of the Newcastle strikers, which led to an eerily similar defensive collapse and conceded goal in the 54th minute of the game. Four minutes later, in the 60th minute, more defensive struggles manifested themselves in another goal for Newcastle United FC. The Winds played lackadaisical defense: limited ball movement, failure to clear the ball from the box, and careless passing.
But all rollercoasters have ups and downs, and this one was no exception. After back-to-back goals from Newcastle, the Winds answered back with a goal from Carlos Andrade in the 67th minute. The team demonstrated its unselfishness with great ball movement that led to a strong finish under the right side of the opposing goalkeeper. All seemed in the bag at this point.
Newcastle was showing signs of restlessness, but it’s never over until it’s over. In the 90th minute, the Winds appeared to be on target for a second straight victory, but right at the end of stoppage time they committed a grave error. A careless foul led to a set piece for the opposing side, and though the free kick was blocked by the diving Adrian Urquizo of the Winds, the rebound fell straight into Newcastle United FC’s hands and was redirected into the back of the net for the final goal of the game.
Four to Four. Full Time. Still unbeaten, you can catch the Santa Ana Winds at their next match as they take on in-city rivals La Maquina FC at SAC Soccer Field this Saturday July 30, 2016 at 5pm (PT).