Las Vegas, NV–Miguel Berry recently said he was eager to find more goals, particularly on the road. The San Diego Loyal SC striker talked about the lack of finishing plays when not at home.
“It can be frustrating, but we will find a way to score those and win on the road,” Berry said after a recent home match. They’ll come.”
Those goals came Friday night. And one of them was the difference maker as SD Loyal earned its first road win of the 2021 USL Championship season. Berry scored in the 74th minute and Alejandro Guido had already found the net seven minutes into the Week 11 match for the 2-1 win against Las Vegas Lights FC at Cashman Field.
Berry’s goal was a moment he had been looking for as SD Loyal (4-4-2) had struggled on the road early in the season with four-straight loses and a 2-2 tie at Phoenix Rising after leading 2-0 into stoppage time. This time, it was Berry and Guido again helping lead the club to three more points in the Pacific Division standings. SD Loyal has not lost to Las Vegas in five matches.
“We asked the guys to do a few things tonight, get a set piece goal which we haven’t done yet, get an away win and get a shutout,” said manager Landon Donovan. “We got one of them, so, that’s one marked off the list. Overall, it was a very good performance. We played the way we want to play, control the tempo of the game after about two minutes of the game when they had two corners, we controlled the rest of the game. We also completed the plays we need in order to score.”
Donovan’s team controlled the pace of the match Friday as it didn’t allow Las Vegas to create space and have dangerous plays. It wasn’t until Marvin Gomez scored to tie the match in the 63rd minute. Gomez headed one off the crossbar and bouncing it past Trey Muse and a couple of SD Loyal defenders that stood near the goal line. The scoring play came off a cross from the right to left that was then headed to the right post where Gomez out jumped his mark.
The home side’s score came well after SD Loyal had taken a 1-0 lead with Guido’s goal. Guido found the net after he sprinted into the 18-yard box and fired a right-footed shot inside the right post, bouncing the ball under the stretched arm of Las Vegas goalkeeper Alex Rando.
Guido was back in the starting lineup after Donovan used the midfielder as a substitute the last two matches. It was Guido’s third goal of the season, coming off a Las Vegas turnover in its area. Guido and Berry have three goals this season, tied for second place behind Jack Blake’s four.
Berry’s goal came when he put back a blocked shot by Rando. Corey Hertzog took a shot from about 20-yards out but Rando made the standout save. It wasn’t enough for the goalkeeper as Berry charged the ball and fired it. It was a play that came after Donovan subbed in Hertzog for Guido.
“They both played well and ultimately, we always talk about making plays that could make the difference,” Donovan said. “We can play well and dominate the game but we need to make the plays that will make the difference so we can get points. (Berry and Guido) are making plays, other guys making plays and we’re getting goals from a few other guys which is great. We have to keep building and getting better.”
SD Loyal now tied for second place in the pacific division with Orange County, return home for a quick turnaround as it hosts expansion club Oakland Roots on Tuesday, June 29 at Torero Stadium at USD. It will be the first-ever meeting between these clubs.
SD Loyal 2, Las Vegas Lights 1
SCORING 0-1 (7’) Alejandro Guido (SD) 1-1 (63’) Marvin Gomez (LV) 1-2 (74’) Miguel Berry (LV)