Sacramento Gold FC kicked off its 2017 schedule with a preseason friendly Saturday against the USL’s Sacramento Republic FC, who used a strong, balanced performance to take down the Gold 5-0 at American River College.
The scoring started in the second minute, when Elliot Hord made a run down the right sideline. From outside the box, Hord slotted a pass to Gabe Gissie, who tucked the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
It became 2-0 only four minutes later. Wilson Kneeshaw fired a shot that was stopped by Sacramento Gold keeper John Connolly. The rebound went back into play in the box, where it was fought for, shot, and deflected several times before falling to the feet of Daniel Trickett-Smith, who blasted it into the left side of the goal.
Republic FC then had a pair of chances bounce off the crossbar. In the 14th minute, it was a strike from Kneeshaw which hit the bar, before being cleared by a diving Fernando De Alba. Six minutes later, Trickett-Smith lofted a chip that soared over the outstretched fingertips of Connolly. However, it was a little too strong, hitting the bar before being deflected away.
The Gold finally generated a bit of offense in the 37th minute off of a free kick near midfield. Danny Lomeli found an open Alex Bettencourt near the left of the box. Bettencourt cut inside and struck the ball at goal, hitting it wide right. Still, the Gold took a bit of momentum into halftime.
The Lomeli-Bettencourt connection again almost worked in the 53rd minute, when Lomeli again found Bettencourt on the left side — this time in open play. Unfortunately for the Gold, Bettencourt’s shot again went wide.
The miss would prove costly four minutes later, when Agustin Cazarez dribbled down the left side and laid it off to Ryley Kraft, who found Christian Casey in the middle of the box. Casey was able to turn his defender and hit the ball into the corner of the net for a 3-0 lead.
But, at the hour mark, the Gold got its best chance of the game. On the counter attack, Lomeli and Jose Martinez found themselves in a two-on-one just below the center circle. Lomeli passed to an open Martinez, who curved the ball around Republic FC goalkeeper Evan Newton. However, the ball also curled outside of the post by inches.
Four minutes later, Republic FC would put the game away from the penalty spot. Tyler Blackwood made a run through the right side, getting past several Gold defenders before being brought down in the box. A foul was called, and Sammy Ochoa converted to make it 4-0.
The finishing touch would come in the 81st minute, when James Kiffe lofted a cross near the Gold goal. Substitute goalkeeper Sanaldo Carvalho went to punch the ball away, but accidentally hit into his own net, putting the score at 5-0.
Republic FC forward Gabe Gissie was named Man of the Match for his exceptional performance.
Sacramento Gold FC will begin the 2017 NPSL season on Saturday, March 25, when it hosts the Sonoma County Sol. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Capital Christian High School. Tickets are $5 and available at the gate.