SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The San Francisco Stompers traveled to Sacramento Gold’s home field, River City High School in West Sacramento, on April 19, 2014. The Stompers and the Gold were tied atop the table of the Golden gate Conference of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).
On a crisp, cold, and occasionally blustery evening, both teams played a fast paced, dynamic attacking style that created eight goals in the game. At the end of the night, the Gold secured the Conference’s top spot with an exciting 5-3 victory. All credit to the Stompers, however, for a brave effort, playing with a man down for over 75 minutes.
Sacramento Gold scored first in the 6th minute, as a corner kick was punched by the SF keeper, to Manolo Pina, who volleyed with force to the far post.
San Francisco showed why they are a top contender for the conference crown as they went up 2-1 on two quick goals by Rico and Talerman in the 9th and 14th minutes.
The game changed three minutes later as Pina broke into the Stomper penalty area and was taken down by the San Francisco keeper, who was ejected from the game for denying a direct goal scoring chance. Pina went to the sideline to be examined for possible concussion symptoms, as Jason Jones calmly slotted the penalty kick for a 2-2 tie.
Playing with 10 men and a new goalkeeper, Silva, the Stompers held on until just before the halftime interval, when Pina received a short crossing ball from Jones and clinically volleyed to the left side-netting.
The Gold extended their lead in the 62nd minute when Eliot Chambers skied for Jose (Cuco) Martinez’ corner kick and placed a beautiful header inside the left post.
San Francisco fought on valiantly, closing the gap to 4-3 in the 72nd minute on a break by Pacheco, who finished from close range.
Ten minutes later the Gold got their final, and insurance, goal from a side volley by Manolo Pina off a long diagonal ball from Cuco Martinez.
The Gold attained the top spot in the conference, but the quality of the Stompers showed throughout the match, and the game demonstrated the high level of competition in the NPSL’s Golden Gate Conference.
The Gold travels to Rancho Cotate High school in Rohnert Park next Saturday, April 26 to play the Sonoma Sol, last year’s Golden gate Conference champions and NPSL national finalist. Kickoff is at 7 PM. We can expect another hard fought and exciting game.
Gold: Connelly, Marroquin, F. de Alba, Alex (Roberto 46’), Eric, D. de Alba, Brioso, Chambers (Prado, 71’), Martinez, Jones, M. Pina (Fonseca, 85’).