TUKWILA, WA. – Tacoma Defiance (11-3-4, 40 points) defeated second-placed St. Louis City SC 2 (11-4-2, 36 points) 5-1 Saturday night at Starfire Stadium. A brace from Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez as well as goals from Abdoulaye Cissoko, Marlon Vargas and Georgi Minoungou helped Defiance claim a four-goal win.
Tacoma got on first in the 30th minute thanks to a Cissoko penalty. Danny Leyva made a run into the box and was sliced by a St. Louis defender, causing the foul. The centre-back rose from the spot and smashed a shot into the back of the net to take the 1-0 lead. Vargas continued his scorching scoring streak, scoring his 12th goal of the season in the dying moments of the first half. Ocampo-Chavez’s saved shot deflected straight into the feet of Vargas, who finished it once in the open goal to double the home side’s lead.
Defiance quickly made it 3-0 early in the second half. Ocampo-Chavez made a deft first touch on a Fito Ovalle ball just outside the box before weaving around a St. Louis defender. The forward then rounded St. Louis goaltender Michael Creek and finished in the open net.
St. Louis pulled one back with a long-range shot from Wan Kuzain in the 57th minute.
Ocampo-Chavez scored his double in the 77th minute on a good team game. Joe Hafferty found himself on the right side of the area and crossed the ball in the face of goal to Vargas, who sent it back to Ocampo-Chavez for an easy finish.
Minoungou scored his second goal in as many games in the death, moving up the right flank and chipping Creek for the exclamation mark on a five-goal game.
Defiance now top the MLS NEXT Pro Rankings, two points ahead of Columbus Crew 2, with six games left in their regular season schedule.
After tonight’s game, Wade Webber’s team heads to PayPal Park for a game against Earthquakes II on Friday, August 5 (7:30 p.m. PT/ mlsnextpro.com).
Tacoma Defiance 5 – St. Louis City SC 1
Time: 91 degrees and sunny
TAC – Abdoulaye Cissoko (penalty) 30′
TAC- Marlon Vargas 45+6′
TAC- Alfonso Ocampo-Chávez (Fito Ovalle) 50′
STL- Wan Kuzain (Akil Watts) 57′
TAC- Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Marlon Vargas, Joe Hafferty) 77′
TAC- Georgi Minoungou (Juan Alvarez) 90+3′
STL – Kyle Hiebert (watch out) 11′
TAC- Georgi Minoungou (watch out) 59′
STL- Ezra Armstrong (watch out) 82′
Tacoma Challenge – André Thomas; Cody Baker, Achille Robin, Abdoulaye Cissoko, Randy Mendoza – captain; Danny Leyva (Joe Hafferty, 57′), Josh Atencio (Fito Ovalle, HT), Dylan Teves (Georgi Minoungou, HT), Marlon Vargas (Hal Uderitz, 84′), Travian Sousa (Juan Alvarez, 72′); Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez
Substitutes not used: Wallis Lapsley, Snyder Brunell, Stuart Hawkins, Valentin Sabella
City of St. Louis SC 2 – Michael Creek; Ben Di Rosa (Miguel Perez, 58′), Josh Yaro – captain, Kyle Hiebert (Joshua Maher, 86′), Kwame Awuah (Ezra Armstrong, 58′); AJ Palazzolo (Sergio Rivas, HT), Akil Watts, Celio Pompeu, Wan Kuzain, Victor Dias; Josh Dolling (Dida Armstrong, 86′)
Substitutes not used: Ian McGrane, Nathan Ferguson, MyKhi Joyner, Anthony Faupel