The Delhi High boys soccer team went into Friday's home contest on a high note, coming off a 2-1 road victory over Pacheco on Wednesday. Two days made a lot of difference, however, as the Hawks were unable to make it into the net and fell to the visiting Livingston squad, 1-0.
It was a stalemate until the second half when Livingston’s Rolando Rodriguez struck a 16-yard shot to the near post and the defense held on for the Wolves' third victory of the season thus far.
“I think the game was pretty even, I feel like we had our chances much like they had their chances, but...we had to take our sweeper out and they scored,” said Delhi head coach Armando Salazar.
Delhi goalkeeper Joel Fuentes was on point for most of the game until sustaining an injury that took him out of the game with about eight minutes left in regulation.
Salvador Hernandez subbed in for Fuentes and captured a save in the small amount of time he guarded the net.
Luckily it was a minor bruise after taking a cleat to his foot and Salazar said he should be fine to return against Hilmar when the two meet on Monday.
After a physical first half, both teams saw similar opportunities, but it was the Wolves who played on point with precision passes and were aggressive to the ball.
Delhi failed to hold on to the ball for longer than a handful of seconds, and it showed.
“We have a very good team but we're just not playing as a team, we are playing individually,” said Salazar. “I feel we were pretty even, we were definitely competitive we just need to put our pieces together.”
The second half started off with both teams racing for the back of the net. The contest stayed in the middle after great defensive play from Delhi’s Brendan Hagood, Jorge Aguilar, Alexander Picazo and Samuel Ramirez.
All these guys were on point for the Hawks but the Wolves’ Cesar Aguilar, Jose Reis and Antonio Montes were just a bit better on defense not allowing the Hawks to strike any easy shots.
“Many times our players had the pass to make but they don’t do it so then we lose the ball and so those are little things we need to work on,” said Salazar. “Hopefully, when the season starts we will get those things straight.”
The only chances for the Hawks came on four free kicks in the second half. Only two shots on goal came near scoring, but Livingston keeper David Solorio was on point both times.
One minute after Livingston’s goal in the 70th, Delhi’s Ivan Ramirez came into the penalty area but Solorio of Livingston came out to punch the ball away. It came right back to Ramirez, who then took a second look but got way under it and the ball sailed away for a goal kick.
Nothing else came for the Hawks until stoppage time when Mario Moran drew a foul from about 30 yards.
Moran’s shot was on point but Solorio caught it and booted it just as the final whistle blew.
Delhi’s next game will be against Hilmar at 4 p.m. Monday.