The only player with more Brazilian titles than Dagoberto Pelentier is Pele, known as perhaps the sport’s most iconic global figure. Dagoberto, who signed with the San Francisco Deltas in late June, made his first start with his new club on Saturday.
Though Dagoberto is not at the level Pele once reached, he ignited San Francisco’s attack in a 2-1 victory over the New York Cosmos. The Deltas recovered from an early deficit to claim the win.
“Good reaction after being down at the [third minute],” coach Marc Dos Santos said. “It was very positive.”
The Cosmos capitalized on a defensive lapse to score in the third minute. After forward Pablo Vranjican slipped in on goal, he rolled the ball past Deltas goalkeeper Romuald Peiser and poked his shot into an empty net.But Dagoberto, who participated in three first-half shoving matches and picked up an early yellow card, orchestrated San Francisco’s game-tying goal. His curling free kick from the left side floated onto the path of defender Patrick Hopkins, who converted his first-time effort.
“It was perfect service right in a great spot,” Hopkins said. “They had a high line and the goalie wasn’t able to come and help them out.”
The Deltas took a 2-1 lead in the 45th minute. After a handball in the box, forward Tommy Heinemann hit the back of the net with a powerful penalty to the right side of the goal.
“[That was] huge,” Hopkins said. “Those goals … right before half, right after half, those are momentum killers. That really put us into a great situation.”
Dagoberto nearly earned his second assist in the 55th minute. He won the ball just outside the box on the left wing and set up Heinemann with a wide-open opportunity. But Heinemann’s left-footed shot was tipped out for a corner.
In the 73rd minute, Dagoberto made way for midfielder Kyle Bekker to applause from the crowd of 3,369 at Kezar Stadium.
“It was a great [outing] from him,” Dos Santos said of Dagoberto. “You’re talking about a guy at a high level. … Now he needs to get used to the rhythm of play.”
Peiser stopped a second-half volley in the box, and Cosmos midfielder Eric Calvillo struck the post with a long-distance effort in the 75th minute. But the Deltas held on for their first win since July 2 against Puerto Rico FC.