FC Golden State’s Michael Mojarro started things off in the third minute when he headed in a back post corner from Edgar Esquivel to give the Region IV Champs the early lead. However, that lead wouldn’t last too long as Joseph Efford showed why he placed among the top scorers in the 2013 US Youth Soccer National League and Region III Championships with an equalizer in the seventh minute after right back Joseph Ametepe made a lengthy run to the box before finding his teammate.
Efford wasn’t done as he doubled his total in the 21st minute in similar fashion after the forward capitalized on Kofi Twumasi’s run into the box to give the National League Red Division Champs the lead. Sebastian Guzman finished off GSA’s first half scoring spree in the 35th minute after finishing off a pass from David Zuniga.
"We didn’t start things off the way we wanted to with that first goal," GSA head coach, Bruno Kalonji said. "They are used to coming back, and we are really proud of their composure, although we did start to get tired at the end."
While GSA dominated the majority of the first half, the second half was a different story. FC Golden State’s goalkeeper, Angel Noriega thwarted a couple of early attempts by Efford and others as the tide slowly started to shift into Golden State’s favor. In the 58th minute, Golden State’s Berj Ghazarian got in behind GSA’s defense and sent a pass across the box for Alberto Juarez to tap in.
"We started to really play our game in the second half," FC Golden State head coach, Robert Friedland said. "We have a great keeper, and he kept us in the game."
FC Golden State began bringing more numbers in on the attack, and created a variety of scoring chances. None was better than in the 69th minute when Steve Ramirez found himself alone on the right flank near the goal line, but his shot grazed the outside netting. Despite these efforts, GSA was able to hold on to a 3-2 victory.
"When we made our substitutions, it was a little hard for our players to get back into the swing of things," Kalonji said. "It changed the dynamic of the game at the end, and we will learn from it for next game."
Next up for GSA will be National League Blue Division runner-up and fellow Georgia team, Concorde Fire Elite (GA), and FC Golden State will next take on Alliance 97 Black (MI). Concorde defeated Alliance 3-0 today. Both teams will play Thursday, July 25 at 10:30 A.M. FC Golden State will play on field five, and GSA will play on field six.