Diablos Estudiantes on top as Roja League kicks off

Following the first three matches in the brand-new Roja League, Denton Diablos Estudiantes holds the top spot with a massive win over Fort Worth Vaqueros. NTX Rayados take the 2nd spot with a win over Irving FC, and Denton Diablos and Inocentes FC hold the middle of the table following a draw.

Diablos Estudiantes teammates Marshall Dickson and Gio Enriquez (Courtesy @gdickson on Twitter)

The night began with Irving FC vs NTX Rayados, and as the Rayados have done consistently for years, they kicked the league off with a 3-2 win over Irving FC in the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Denton and Inocentes then battled to a hard-fought, high-scoring 4-4 draw. The Diablos struck first with a free-kick goal from Harris Partain in the 25th minute and doubled their lead with a penalty kick brace from Partain just minutes later.

Shortly before halftime, Inocentes clawed back with their first goal, another penalty kick. In the 49th minute, Inocentes equalized then took the lead in the 54th with a spectacular bicycle kick. Diablos found their equalizer in the 70th, holding level for just 16 minutes before Inocentes once again took the lead. In the waning moments of the match, the Diablos found the equalizer with more set-piece magic, to secure the draw and split the points.

In the final match of the night, the Diablos Estudiantes struck first against Fort Worth in just the 17th minute, once again from a set-piece play. Estudiantes doubled their lead in the 33rd with more free-kick magic to take a 2-0 halftime lead.

9 minutes into the 2nd half, the Vaqueros finally got on the board from a free-kick, and fifteen minutes later equalized with a swift counter-attack. Estudiantes retook the lead from the penalty spot in the 80th minute and doubled the lead with another penalty kick goal in stoppage time to secure the win and top of the table.

Standings after Day 1

The Roja League returns on Wednesday, July 8 with Fort Worth Vaqueros vs Inocentes FC at Martin Field, and Diablos Estudiantes vs Denton Diablos at the Vela Soccer Complex in Denton.

Thanks to Jim Greene for additional score data.

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