Late goal dooms Gold in friendly

Photo by Vanessa S. Nelson.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The second All-Sacramento preseason friendly went down to the wire, but in the end Sacramento Gold FC fell to Sacramento Republic FC 2-1 in a preseason friendly Saturday at American River College.

The game’s first dangerous chance came off the foot of Republic FC’s Cameron Iwasa. In the fifth minute, the local boy fired a one-time shot off a corner kick. Fortunately for the Gold, goalkeeper John Connolly was able to make the save. After more and more pressure, the dam broke in the 15th minute. Wilson Kneeshaw was brought down just outside the top right corner of the box, setting up a Hayden Partain free kick. Partain whipped the ball into the six-yard box, where Villyan Bijev met it with a well-timed header, sending it by Connolly and putting Republic FC on the board 1-0. Another free kick nearly doubled the lead in the 23rd minute. Connolly punched the kick away, but the ball bounced to Republic FC. Cole Seiler was nearly able to fire the ball in. However, it went wide right. Just four minutes later, Republic FC got numbers going at goal, with Partain and Christian Eissele leading the charge. Partain crossed the ball to Eissele, who tripped while reaching for the bass. The Gold defense was able to clear the danger away shortly after. The first serious threat from the Gold came in the 40th minute, thanks to some nifty footwork from Amobi OKugo and Kaba Alkebulan finding Roberto Mendoza at the top of the box. Mendoza fed Alkebulan at the left post, but Alkebulan was brought down just as the ball went past the goal line. Appeals for a penalty were waved away by the referee. The Gold suddenly found a lifeline in the second half thanks to a breakaway from Alkebulan, who found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Raphael Diaz. Alkebulan fired a shot that went off the right post and into the net, knotting the score at 1-1.

Photo by Vanessa S. Nelson.

The game took a turn in the 63rd minute, when Republic played a curling ball down the midle of the field. In a battle to the ball, Steven Wright and Diallo both went down. The referee determined Wright, the last man, was deserving of ejection and showed a red card, putting the Gold at 10 men for the rest of the match. Another free kick nearly resulted in Republic FC retaking the lead just ten minutes later. Dominik Jakubek headed the cross away, but the rebound went to Republic FC, who fired a low shot at goal. However, the ball whizzed wide of the net. In the 86th minute, Republic FC snatched the lead back thanks to Kevin Aleman, who wove through the Gold defense and fired the ball into the roof of the net. Both Danny Lomeli and Okugo had great chances to tie the score in the dying moments, but Diaz was able to make saves both times. LINEUPS/SUBSTITUTIONS: Sacramento Gold FC: G John Connolly (Armando Quezada 46’), D Steven Wright, Selvin Bonilla (Evan Alvarez 65’), Dominik Jakubek, Zach Ulrich, M Alfonso Montagalvan, Amobi Okugo, Roberto Mendoza (Solomi Olajide 46), Danny Cuevas (Danny Lomeli 64’), F Kaba Alkebulan (Cole Alexander 74’), Gabe Padilla (Alex Paz 83’) Sacramento Republic FC: G Josh Cohen (Raphael Diaz), D Hayden Partain (Luis Espino), Cole Seiler (Camron Krow), Mitchell Taintor (Brian Nana-Sinkam), Josh Turnley (Luis Martinez), M Jeremy Hall (Khalid Arramdani), Wilson Kneeshaw (Shannon Gomez), Jaime Villareal (Boubacar Diallo), Christian Eissele (Jose Carrera Garcia), F Villyan Bijev (Brad Burkhardt), Cameron Iwasa (Kevin Aleman) SCORING SUMMARY: SRFC – Mitchell Taintor (Hayden Partain) 15' SGFC – Kaba Alkebulan (Unassisted) 56’ DISCIPLINE: SRFC – Jaime Villarreal (Hard Foul) 9’ SGFC – Kaba Alkebulan (Hard Foul) 25’ SGFC – Gabe Padilla (Hard Foul) 37’ SGFC – Steven Wright (Red Card) 63’