Miguel Berry and Alejandro Guido had a winning hand against Las Vegas Lights FC Friday night, helping the San Diego Loyal to its first road victory of the season.
Berry’s score in the 74th minute was the clincher. Guido had already found the net seven minutes into the Week 11 match for the 2-1 win against the Vegas team at Cashman Field.
“They both played well and ultimately,” said manager Landon Donovan. “We always talk about making plays that could make the difference. 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.”
The Loyal has not lost to Las Vegas in five matches and is unbeaten in the past six matches.
SD Loyal (4-4-2) had struggled on the road early in the season with four straight losses 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 of the USL Championship league.
“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,” Donovan said. “We got one of them, so, that’s one marked off the list.”
“Overall, it was a very good performance,” the soccer legend said. “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, not allowing Las Vegas to create space and have dangerous plays.
Las Vegas player Marvin Gomez scored to tie the match in the 63rd minute. Gomez headed one off the crossbar and bouncing it past Trey Muse.
That scoring play came off a cross from right to left that was then headed to the right post where Gomez out jumped his mark.
Guido found the net after he sprinted into the 18-yard box and fired a right-footed shot inside the right post. The ball bounced under the stretched arm of Las Vegas goalkeeper Alex Rando.
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.
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.
Guido and Berry have three goals this season, tied for second place behind Jack Blake’s four.
“We have to keep building and getting better,” Donovan said.
The 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.