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Lights FC returns to play with loss in San Diego

After a four-month suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Lights FC continued their third United Soccer League Championship season Saturday losing 2-1 to the San Diego Loyal SC in front of an empty Torero Stadium in San Diego.

The win was the Loyal’s first at home in franchise history.

The teams previously tied 1-1 in their first meeting March 7 before the USL suspended its season. San Diego got a headstart on continuing its 2020 season with a win over Real Monarchs SLC on July 11 and a loss to LA Galaxy II on July 19.

Saturday’s game also served as the debut for interim Lights coach Frank Yallop, who took over June 29 after the team fired coach Eric Wynalda due to a rule violation related to the USL’s return-to-play guidelines.

After three shots on goal, Loyal forward Tumi Moshobane gave San Diego an early lead scoring in the ninth minute. The Lights capitalized on an inadvertent handball call in first-half stoppage time when forward Rashawn Dally found the back the net after San Diego goalkeeper Jon Kempin made two saves on the ensuing penalty kick.

Moshobane crossed the ball to a forward Irvin Parra, who hit a short-ranged header to give San Diego a 2-1 lead in the 65th minute.

Lights goalie Edward Delgado was credited with three saves on the night while Kempin was credited with four.

Lights forward Seku Conneh left the match in the first half with an undisclosed injury. Conneh went down three times before exiting.

The win put San Diego atop the standings in USL’s Group B with 10 points. The Lights entered Saturday’s match in last place and remain behind the pack with one point. The rest of the group has taken the pitch at least three times, while Saturday was only the Lights’ second game.

The Lights’ loss marks the return of Las Vegas professional team sports. They will play their 2020 home opener next Saturday, Aug. 1, against the Reno 1868 FC at Cashman Field. Due to Nevada’s coronavirus guidelines, fans will not be allowed to attend the match.

Contact Le’Andre Fox at lfox@reviewjournal.com. Follow @DreFox_ on Twitter

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