One down, two to go. The UPSL Wild West DIvision champion Contra Costa Football Club defeated Real San Jose 3-1 at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, highlighted by a pair of open-net, second half goals by Brandon Kearney and Eli Padilla.
Contra Costa played the aggressor throughout the first half, however Real San Jose’s goalkeeper stopped the first several attempts by CCFC in the first quarter hour.
Contra goalkeeper Andrew Constantino faced little pressure early in the first half on breakaways from Real San Jose, but was able to make the clearances just out of his box.
Real San Jose’s goalkeeper came up with a huge stop at the post in the 16th minute, as Santiago Alejandro hit a perfect volley low at the post, however RSJ’s goalkeeper made the highlight-worthy save.
CCFC struck first on the scoreboard just two minutes later when Alejandro fired a shot off of a free kick that struck the far post and into the back of the net, putting Contra up 1-0.
Real San Jose pulled even at 1-1 just after the half-hour mark as they broke away from the Contra backline and fired past Constantino into the back of the net. Contra nearly responded just minutes later, however Padilla’s shot from distance went just over the crossbar.
They nearly pulled ahead in the first half again in the 35th minute when Luis Navarro nearly beat RSJ’s backline to a ball heading toward the net, however RSJ’s goalkeeper beat Navarro to the ball, making the save and parrying the ball away at the top of the box.
Contra pulled ahead early in the second half on a pair of open-net goals by Brandon Kearney in the 47th minute and by Padilla in the 55th minute. Kearney tapped in his goal on a second chance off of a cross for CCFC, and Padilla headed in his goal after a frantic sequence inside the RSJ six-yard box.
RSJ nearly pulled back a goal in the 57th minute, chipping Constantino just past his six-yard box, however, Kearney was there to prevent the goal, clearing the ball at the line.
Contra put the game away in the 81st minute as Navarro headed in a cross in front of the net, putting Contra up 4-1, and Steven Henry curled in a goal in the 85th minute to extend the score 5-1.
CCFC plays the winner of the AFC Hearts - JASA FC match in the next round of the playoffs at home on Saturday, June 29th at 6 p.m.