In a cold and damp Premier Development League season opener, the Fresno Fuego could not generate a spark while falling 1-0 to the Burlingame Dragons in front of an announced crowd of 5,237 on Friday at Chukchansi Park.
The Fuego controlled the tempo in the first half and looked confident coming out of the break, but the Dragons went ahead in the 56th minute.
Jamael Cox split the Fuego defense on a counter and finished the one-on-one against goalie Agustin Rey.
Fresno caught a break moments later, as the Dragons’ Gabe Silveira was red-carded, forcing his team to play the final half hour with 10 men.
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The Fuego tried to exploit the mismatch but was unable to penetrate the Dragons’ defense led by center backs Josh Smith and Buchanan High School graduate Kyle Cadigan.
Mason Gonzales, Milton Blanco and Joao Da Rosa led Fresno’s offense with two shots apiece.
Things got heated with three yellow cards in the final 10 minutes as the Fuego came up short of an equalizer and a point in the Central Pacific division match.
Fresno will continue the PDL campaign at home for the next four matches, beginning May 14 at 7:30 p.m. against San Francisco City FC.
PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
BURLINGAME 1, FRESNO 0
- Second half: 1, BD, Jamael Cox (Gabe Silveira) 56th.
- Shots: Fresno 7, Burlingame 4. Saves: Burlingame 7 (Paul Blanchete), Fresno 2 (Agustin Rey 2). Yellow cards: Fresno, Mason Gonzales (9th), Joey Chica (85); Burlingame, Josh Morton (50), Josh Smith (90+), Luis Hernandez (90+). Red cards: Burlingame, Silveira (69).
- Records: Fresno 0-1-0, Burlingame 1-0-0
- Next up: Fresno vs. San Francisco City FC on May 14; Burlingame at LA Laguna FC on May 8