SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The East Bay Stompers spoiled Sacramento Gold FC’s 2018 NPSL home finale, topping the hosts by a score of 2-0 Saturday at Capital Christiah High School.
Sacramento got the first big chance of the game in the 13th minute when Danny Cuevas made a run down the left side and crossed the ball in front of goal. Kaba Akebulan got on the end of it, but the shot was saved.
The Stompers got by the Gold defense in the 20th minute with a quick give-and-go in the box. But, Sacramento goalkeeper Timo Arellano was able to impact the pass enough to stop the attack.
Both teams got quality opportunities over the next several minutes. In the 23rd minute, Akebulan nearly was able to steal a backpass and convert. But, the Stompers goalkeeper made the recovery. Three minutes later, the Stompers sent a quick header at goal, though the ball bounced off the crossbar. Then, in the 33rd minute, Cuevas sent another cross in front of goal, this time to Clay Silvas. The shot seemed destined for the top of the net, but the Stompers goalkeeper managed to deflect it over the net.
East Bay finally broke the deadlock thanks to some fancy footwork by Lewis Saxelby. After getting on the end of a free kick, Saxelby weaved through a pair of defenders and fired a shot to Arellano’s left. The ball made it over the line, giving the Stompers a 1-0 lead.
Though the Gold started strong in the second half, the Stompers had a long spell of possession around the hour mark. It culminated in the 62nd minute when Saxelby pounced on a cross to head the ball into the net and double the Stompers lead to 2-0.
The Gold offense stepped on the gas after that, dominating possession and creating a number of close chances. The closest came in stoppage time, when Chase Gray’s rocket of a shot clanged off the post. However, none would fall for the hosts.
Sacramento will conclude the 2018 NPSL season on the road against the rival Sonoma County Sol. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 at Case Grande High School.