A wild night in the Roja League sees NTX Rayados on top

Another day, another wild night of Roja League Action. 13 goals across three games, a new leader on top, and a three-way tie on points ends Day 2 and sets up another full slate on Saturday.

In the first match of the night, Diablos Estudiantes got on the board in just the 2nd minute thanks to young Matt Heffernan, doubling their lead fifteen minutes later with a goal from Julian Barajas.

Irving FC came out of the halftime break with a surge of energy, scoring first to cut the lead to 2-1. Barajas got his brace to make it 3-1 Estudiantes. Irving FC continued to fight back though and in the end, earned a hard-fought tie.

Match 2 featured the first incarnation of the Cowtown Clasico, between the Fort Worth Vaqueros and Inocentes FC. There’s been a lot of discussion over whether Inocentes FC, 2019 Fall UPSL runners-up, could hang in the NPSL, and this match definitely stands in their favor.

The first Cowtown Clasico, between the Fort Worth Vaqueros and Inocentes FC, July 8, 2020. (Courtesy Fort Worth Vaqueros)

After trading blows in an ultimately scoreless first half, Vaqueros struck first in the 2nd half but didn’t lead for long before Inocentes found an equalizer to finish 1-1.

In the final match of the night, Denton Diablos got their first taste of their originally-scheduled Open Cup opponents, NTX Rayados, and came away licking their wounds. Thanks in no small part to their recent acquisition of Batman himself, Jamie Lovegrove, Rayados took the fight to the Diablos early, scoring in the 12th minute.

The Diablos rallied to get their lone goal of the night late in the first half, but Rayados came back from the break swinging. In under 20 minutes, Rayados had run out to a 3-1 lead, which they maintained for much of the 2nd half, before netting a 4th in stoppage time to secure the win and top of the table entering the weekend.

With that, the Roja League standings look like this:

Standings after Day 2

Roja League action continues this Saturday, July 11, with another trio of matches hosted at the Vela Soccer Complex in Denton.

Inocentes FC play Irving FC at 4 p.m., followed by Diablos Estudiantes against NTX Rayados at 6 p.m., and closing with the Chisolm Trail Clasico, Fort Worth Vaqueros vs Denton Diablos at 8 p.m.

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