The Burlingame Dragons played their first-ever Premier Development League match on Friday night, and they emerged victorious 1-0 against the previously undefeated Fresno Fuego.
After two tough losses in the last week -- a 1-0 loss to the Stanford men's soccer team in the club's home debut and a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss at the Sonoma County Sol in the first round of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup -- the Dragons took flight to the Central Valley to open their PDL season with a visit to Chukchansi Park and a date with the Fuego.
But instead of slumping to a third defeat in a row, the Dragons caught fire and dispatched of their Southwest Division leading opponents with the clean sheet victory in Fresno.
The game's only goal came in the 30th minute, and it was courtesy of a set-piece opportunity. With a chance to make history, defender Kyle Cadigan rose above the mix to head home a corner kick delivery from Josh Goss.
The Dragons dodged a bullet in the 60th minute when defender Luke Salmon cleared a Fuego shot off the goal line, saving the blushes of goalkeeper Josh Cohen, who was having a great game between the posts.
Unable the get a second goal to ice the Fuego as the game wound down, the Dragons circled their own penalty area into three minutes of stoppage time as Fresno stormed forward in search of an equalizer. With seconds to go, the home side nearly broke through on a corner kick opportunity, but it was the Dragons that would celebrate moments later when the final whistle sounded.
WIIIINNNNNN for the Dragons!!!!!! 1-0 in their first PDL match! #UniteExciteJustBeatTheFuego— Burlingame Dragons (@burlingamefc) May 16, 2015
The win for Burlingame marks a perfect start for coach Dana Taylor and the Earthquakes U-23 squad in the 2015 PDL season. The team will play one more game on the road -- two days later on Sunday against Golden State Misioneros FC in Glendora -- before returning to the Bay Area to host the Fuego on Saturday, May 23, at Burlingame High School.
(Click here to view the complete 2015 Burlingame Dragons FC roster)