Irvin Parra scored the deciding goal in the 65th minute as San Diego Loyal rebounded from the first loss in their brief history with a 2-1 victory over the Las Vegas Lights on Saturday at Torero Stadium.
Parra managed a left-footed cross from Tumi Moshobane four minutes after entering the game. The goal was the first for Parra in his three appearances for SD Loyal (3-1-1). He scored 15 goals in 31 games for Lights FC in 2019.
“Tumi has played really well over the past two weeks and really wanted to reward himself with a great performance,” said SD coach Loyal Landon. “He’s made a great play on the side here to take out a cross and also, Irvin, probably over the past three weeks has been an incredible teammate. He really helped this team and we are all very happy for him because he deserved to score. It was a great ending and a big, big, three point for us.
Moshobane opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a left-footed shot for his first goal after his header came off the crossbar.
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Rashawn Dally tied the score for Lights FC in the sixth minute of stoppage time in the first half on a rebound from a Jose Carrera-Garcia shot on a streak that started with SD Loyal goalkeeper Jon Kempin stopping a penalty from Carrera-Garcia and left foot shot from Carrera-Garcia on the rebound of the penalty.
Lights FC received a penalty when SD defender Loyal Grant Stoneman was called up for a foul in the penalty area.
“It’s really hard to give up a goal before half-time, especially when we played pretty well with stretching in the first half,” said Donovan. “The message was ‘forget it’. It’s over, we can’t do anything else so we have to get over it and play well again… win the game and that’s what they did and really proud of them.
Dally was making his debut with the USL Championship team after his loan from FC Cincinnati of Major League Soccer.
SD Loyal was dominated, 21-12. Both teams managed five shots on goal.
Kempin made four saves. Lights FC goalkeeper Edward Delgado made three.
“We weren’t perfect, but I felt they had competed really well,” said Donovan, whose team lost 1-0 to LA Galaxy II last Sunday. “Technically they’re really starting to figure out what we’re trying to do and if you mix those two things together you have a good chance of winning every week. “
The match was the first for Lights FC (0-1-1) since a 1-1 draw with SD Loyal on March 7 at Torero Stadium in front of a crowd announced at 6,100.
Like most other sporting events around the world, fans were excluded from Saturday night’s Division II men’s soccer game under public health guidelines banning public events and gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The loss marred Frank Yallop’s debut as coach of Lights FC. He replaced Eric Wynalda, who was fired on June 17 for breaking rules related to the USL Championship return-to-play guidelines, said owner Brett Lashbrook.
“It was a good game,” said Yallop. “I think we deserved more than we got. I was proud of the guys who continued. We had great opportunities to equalize, but it just wasn’t our night tonight.
Yallop coached Donovan with the San Jose Earthquakes from 2001 to 2003, winning the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003, and with the Galaxy from 2006 to 2007. He also coached the Canadian Men’s National Team and the Chicago Fire. .
Yallop will coach Lights FC for the remainder of the season but will not pursue the permanent position once the season is over.
SD Loyal visits LA Galaxy II on Wednesday at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.
– City News Service contributed to this report.