Portland, Ore. – A furious rally at the end by Sacramento Gold FC was not enough to undo earlier mistakes, as the Gold fell to Portland Spartans FC 2-1 Saturday at Delta Park.
Manolo Piña tallied Sacramento’s lone goal. Oswin Williams paced Portland with two goals in the game.
Despite immense early pressure by Sacramento, it was Portland who struck first in the 32nd minute. David Hernandez received a through ball up the right side. Hernandez’s cross found a streaking Williams, who got to the ball at the same time as Sacramento goalkeeper John Connolly. Williams got more on it and the ball rolled into the goal to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
In the 67th minute, it was Hernandez-to-Williams again for a doubled lead. This time, Hernandez came from the left side and crossed the ball behind the Gold defense. An unmarked Williams easily put the ball away to make it 2-0.
Chasing a comeback, the Gold sent wave after wave of attacks at the Spartans goal. Finally, in the 86th minute, they broke through. Andrew Robles ripped a shot at the bottom right corner that wasn’t properly dealt with. Piña pounced on the rebound to cut the lead to 2-1. It was as close as the Gold would get.
It was all Sacramento in the early stages. The first big chance came in the 15th minute when Piña found Josue Araiza in front of goal. Araiza sent a fast shot at goal, but it was deflected out.
In the 24th minute, Danny Lomeli freed Piña on the right side, where he unleashed a vicious cross on goal that was saved by Portland goalkeeper Jason Hines. Three minutes later, Fernando Cabadas made a nice play to steal the ball off a goal kick. However, his shot was blocked wide for a corner kick.
At the half hour mark, the Gold had the ball in the box, where Cuco Martinez had the best chance to send a shot on frame. However, the Spartans were able to clear. Minutes later, Hernandez and Williams snapped Sacramento’s momentum with a goal.
Piña nearly equalized with a fancy effort in front of goal two minutes later, though the effort was cleared off the line. In the 39th minute, Piña’s cross found Cabadas, where he launched a shot straight at Hines. It was the last chance of the first half for either team.
The Gold nearly equalized in the 52nd minute. Cabadas played a beautiful ball up through the middle which freed Piña up the right side for a one-on-one. Unfortunately for Sacramento, Hines was able to get a leg on the shot and save the effort.
The Spartans came back with a pair of nice efforts. In the 56th minute, Hernandez launched a shot from deep which forced a diving save from Connolly. Three minutes later, Portillo sent a dangerous free kick on goal, though Connolly was up for the task.
Portland did not miss on their next effort, as Hernandez found Williams again to double the lead.
A flurry of subs led to a furious attack from Sacramento to try to get back into the game. Minutes after the goal, Robles made some nice moves to get free in the box, though his effort was blocked away from goal.
Hernandez nearly made it three with a nice flick on goal in the 74th minute. Connolly kept the Gold in the game with a save.
Piña almost put the Gold on the board with a nice one-timer from the right side of the box. However, his shot was straight at Hines, who made the save. Piña made up it by capitalizing on a rebound two minutes later.
Though Sacramento would get a few more shots on goal, it was not enough to salvage a draw.
The Gold will have no time to rest, as Sacramento travels up north to Washington for a Sunday showdown against FC Tacoma 253. The action gets underway tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Starfire Sports Complex.
LINEUPS/SUBSTITUTIONS: Sacramento Gold FC: G John Connolly, D Nate Nugen, Danny Lomeli (Padge McCullough 68’), Danny Mititelu, Fernando De Alba, M Andrew Robles, Fernando Cabadas (Nico Brioso 68’), Abrahm Prado (Johnny Muresan 70’), Josue Araiza, F Cuco Martinez (Zach Ulrich 70’), Manolo Piña
Portland Spartans FC: GK Jason Hines, D Brody Voge, Anthony Hobbs, Jordan Selland, Pierce Nusbaum, M Evans Omani, Christian Martinez, Ryan Middleton, F Josemaria Portillo (Carlos Bolanos 91’), Oswin Williams (Omar Gomez 69’), David Hernandez (Christian Desir 76’)
SCORING SUMMARY: SFC – Oswin Williams (David Hernandez) 32’