(April 26, 2015) Real San Jose assumed first place in the Golden Gate Conference after a 3-1 over the previously undefeated Sacramento Gold on Sunday night.
RSJ was led by midfielder Jake Wiffen’s two goals. It led 1-0 at the intermission and extended the lead to 3-0 in the second half. The only goal the Gold scored came on an own goal by San Jose.
The result left RSJ atop the conference with 10 points in five games. They are one point ahead of the Gold, and the Sonoma Sol, who both have nine points in four games.
RSJ puts first place on the line against Sonoma on Sunday when it hosts the Sol in a match that begins at 5 p.m. at Mt. Pleasant High School.
For RSJ fans and players, who remembered the 7-0 drubbing Sacramento inflicted upon their team a year ago, the victory over the weekend was sweet.
“This win saved our season,” said RSJ Manager Nick Arellano. “If we would have lost then we would be in big trouble. Now we have everything to play for. The guys played very well today.”
RSJ’s first goal came in the game’s eighth minute and was scored by Wiffen.
“Jake’s first goal was as important as it was well taken,” Arellano said. “We were going into a stiff wind and it was key that we took the early lead and hold it until halftime.”
Indeed, there were times during the first half when the Gold seemed to have the better of play. RSJ, however, clung to that lead at the intermission.
The game took a very different twist in the game’s 52 second minute when two Gold players were issued red cards. Zachary Ulrich was sent off for what the officials said was “denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity”, which led to a penalty kick. Goalkeeper John Connally used “obscene language” in protesting the decision against Ulrich and he too was sent off.
That meant RSJ played the remainder of the game with a two man advantage.
RSJ missed the penalty kick after play resumed after the red cards. But the goals were to come later.
Wiffen scored again in the game’s 63rd minute. Joseph Cairel scored in the game’s 75th minute. Up 3-0 in the 88th minute, RSJ scored an own goal for the Gold.
The mind-mannered Wiffen, asked about the game and RSJ’s success thus far this season, was very low-key.
“There’s been a dramatic turnaround,” he said. He added the team has a “better base of players” and they work hard during training.
Joseph Kay, who like Wiffen is English, was more expressive when discussing his countryman.
“He’s a magician,” Kay said of Wiffen.