Gold drops third straight NPSL game

Sacramento Gold FC dropped its third straight NPSL game Saturday, falling to the East Bay FC Stompers 2-0 at CSU East Bay’s Pioneer Stadium.

Lewis Saxelby and Charlie Swann netted goals for the home squad.

Saxelby started the scoring in the 16th minute following a knifing run from Ilja Golubevs, who worked the ball to the top of the box. Saxelby ran up and struck the ball into the left corner of the net to make it 1-0.

Both teams had chances to change the score as time went by, but the Stompers finally did so in the 77th minute. Salifu Jatta whipped in a cross from the right side to between the penalty spot and the six-yard box. Swann ran across goal and flicked the ball in for a 2-0 lead.

A pair of those chances came in the 23rd minute. Pablo Schmid cut down the right side of the box and towards the Gold goal. But, Cesar Sosa was able to slide in and poke the ball away. Dennis Garcia came in to clear the ball and prevent another attack – but only for a moment. Arturo Gomez was played through on the right side and fired a shot at goal. However, it went wide of the post.

As the first half wound down, it was the Gold who had a pair of chances to tie the score. In the 44th minute, Sammy Gonzalez lofted a free kick into the box, where Cylus Sandoval leapt to head it down. Chimdum Mez got his foot on the deflection, but the ball sailed over the bar. A minute later, Gonzalez stole the ball from the East Bay defense and found Mez open on the right side of the box. Mez fired a shot at goal, though the ball rolled wide right.

Things got a bit wild in the 58th minute. Off an East Bay free kick, Gomez headed a ball which ricocheted off the cross bar. Swann struck the rebound, but Garcia deflected it off the line. The ball bounced around to the other side of the box, where Schmid sent another header high into the air. To put an end to the chaos in front of his net, Sacramento goalkeeper John Connolly jumped up, grabbed the ball, and threw it – slam dunk style – over the bar and out of bounds.

Connolly had to come through for Sacramento four minutes later as well. On the counter attack, Swann found himself leading a 2-on-1 going at the Gold goal. While Edric Soltero cut off the other runner, Swann blasted a shot which Connolly was able to parry away and out of danger.

The hosts finished the game with ten men following a dangerous challenge in stoppage time. Jovian Amirkiai, who had entered the game minutes earlier, slid into Sosa from behind, forcing the official to issue him a straight red card. The extra man advantage came too late to be productive for the visitors, whose roster for the entire game consisted of 11 players.

The Sacramento Gold will next be on the road again, this time against the rival Sonoma County Sol on Saturday, June 4. Kickoff is set for 7 pm at Santa Rosa High School.

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