Mez’s two goals came courtesy of the Gonzalez brothers, Nico and Sammy. The lone goal the Gold conceded was an own goal.
It was the home squad who had the first two chances of the game. In both the fourth and eighth minute, Heriberto Guerro sped his way down the right sideline and towards the Gold goal. One chance ended in a wide miss, while the other was saved by Sacramento goalkeeper John Connolly.
The visitors got their first chance in the 18th minute on a heads-up play by Keenan Armbrust, who managed to block a clearance by the San Jose sweeper. Armbrust sped towards goal, but San Jose goalkeeper Matt Riley was able to make the save.
Sacramento got another good chance five minutes later when Ali Radmand fired a low cross into the box from the right side. Jason Jones, making his return to the Gold, got a foot on the cross, but sent the ball wide.
San Jose nearly broke through in the 35th minute when Fernando Sanchez broke through down the left side. Sanchez got a one-on-one with Connolly, but the Sacramento goalkeeper was able to parry the shot away.
Two minutes later, Armbrust dribbled past a pair of defenders and fed Sammy Gonzalez in front of goal. However, Riley was able to get in front of the shot.
Four minutes before the half, the Gold got a free kick just outside the box. Nico Gonzalez stepped up and fired a shot at the left side of the goal. Riley was able to jump to his right and make the save.
Only a couple minutes into the second half, the hosts nearly found themselves ahead when Guerrero got another breakaway, this time on the left side. However, Guerrero sent his shot left of the post.
In the 52nd minute, the Gold was given another free kick, this one about 25 yards from goal. Again, Nico Gonzalez stepped to take it, but Riley was unable to make the save this time. However, the ball hit the woodwork and bounced out.
Gonzalez made up for it three minutes later when he played the ball to Mez, who made a run down the right side. Mez weaved his way past the San Jose defenders and into the box. Riley came out to knock the ball away, but Mez got there first, poking the ball by the sliding goalkeeper and into the net for a 1-0 Gold lead.
The goal marked the beginning of a long spell of offensive control for the Gold. In the 61st minute, Sammy Gonzalez made a nifty run down the right side and found himself one-on-one with Riley. However, his shot went straight at the goalkeeper and ricocheted out of bounds.
Like his brother before him, Gonzalez made up for his near miss. In the 72nd minute, Sacramento was given a free kick about 30 yards from goal. Gonzalez stepped up to take it, lofting the ball beyond the San Jose back line. Mez met in the air, striking it into the goal to double the Gold lead at 2-0.
His fellow forward Jones nearly got one of his own in the 76th minute when Sammy Gonzalez got another free kick opportunity, this time on the right side. Jones rose up and got his head on the cross, but sent the ball over the crossbar.
In the 82nd minute, Armbrust broke through again, this time taking the ball down the field himself. Armbrust launched a rocket at goal, one which Riley was just able to get a foot to and keep out.
The Gold defense was finally beaten in the 85th minute, but it was off a bizarre play. San Jose sent a throw-in at the Sacramento goal, the ball going over Dennis Garcia’s head and dropping in front of Andres Olmedo. The ball went in the net and was ruled to have deflected off Olmedo before it did so, therefore counting as a goal. However, the defense was able to hold the 2-1 advantage, with Olmedo making a clutch save to make up for the earlier mistake.
Sacramento will now return home for the final game of the 2016 NPSL regular season, hosting the East Bay Stompers on Saturday, July 2. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Capital Christian High School.
Image from Sun Goes Down, Gold Goes Up