Last night the North County Battalion honored our Armed Forces with Military Appreciation Night in their non-league match against Chula Vista FC. Eli Galbraith-Knapp scored two goals and Asher Booth netted one to secure a 3-1 victory.
The Battalion started the game on the offensive peppering shots at the Chula Vista goal. Even though they dominated the pace of play and scoring opportunities, both teams went into halftime scoreless.
In the second half, Chula Vista came out more aggressive and started trading chances with the North County boys. After a back and forth of opportunities, Chula Vista found the back of the net first in the 62nd minute. Chula Vista earned a free kick to Battalion goalkeeper James Stroud’s left. On the referee’s whistle, the free kick was played back to the top of the box where Marco Rubio unleashed a shot that went over Stroud’s diving attempt.
The Battalion got their first opportunity to equalize two minutes later when two defenders slid in the box to stop a Battalion cross. The linesman immediately indicated a handball and Galbraith-Knapp stepped up to the penalty spot to take the kick. With a powerful shot to the opposite side of the diving Chula Vista goalkeeper, the score was now tied at one.
A minute later the Battalion took control of the scoreboard and the game. Esteban Reyes made a determined run down the left side that beat two Chula Vista defenders. He then laid a pass back to a charging Galbraith-Knapp who unleashed a shot that beat the Chula Vista goalkeeper. The 2-1 lead was one that the home team would not relinquish.
In extra time, the Battalion added a final tally to bring the score to 3-1. Brandon Zuniga found himself alone on the right side of the goal box and drew in the lone defender towards him. He then sent in a perfectly placed ball to Booth who was unmarked in the front of the goal. Booth directed the pass on goal with one touch and beat the Chula Vista goalkeeper who did not stand a chance.
Next week the Battalion resumes their quest for the NPSL playoffs when they hit the road to take on FC Hasental on Sunday, June 12 @ 5pm. Stay tuned to ncbattalion.com for details on how to make the trip with the team.