Christian Chaney scored his Premier Development League-leading 10th goal of the season as the Fresno Fuego downed the BYU Cougars 2-0 on Thursday in Provo, Utah, jumping into sole possession of the top spot in the Central Pacific Division.
The Fuego (5-2-0), which leads the division with 14 points, three up on idle Las Vegas, got on the board in the 25th minute after a series of quick touches from Alvaro Nogales and Milton Blanco set up Chaney’s finish.
The Cougars (2-3-3), winless in their past four matches, saw their deficit double minutes later when goalkeeper Brenden Ottmen let a routine back pass slip between his legs for an own goal.
13-4 Fuego’s scoring edge in its five-game Premier Development League winning streak
Blanco leads the PDL in assists with five as the Fuego reaches the midway point of the 14-match season.
It’s the fifth straight win and second straight shutout since interim coach Brian Zwaschka took over for Fresno. The Fuego faces the host Cougars again at 6 p.m. Saturday.
No appeal – The Fuego saw its appeal of a forfeit loss to San Francisco City FC on May 14 disallowed by the PDL.
Fresno was leading 5-1 when it made an illegal substitution – one more than the allotment – in the 80th minute. League rules allow six subs per team per match. The game went on, with Fresno winning 5-1.
After the match, the Fuego reported the incident, resulting in the forfeit and a one-point penalty. Fresno appealed on grounds that officials should have caught the extra substitution during the match.
The PDL didn’t agree.
“The league reviews all game reports and would’ve discovered the illegal substitution during the review process. The substitution(s) is part of the PDL’s rules/laws of the game. Breaking a rule of the game is not appealable,” John Griffin, the PDL’s senior director of communications, said in an email.
“There is currently no appeal process in this situation since the infraction is not appealable. In this instance, the team notified us of the infraction they committed so there is no process for appeal.”
PDL: FRESNO FUEGO VS. BYU COUGARS
- Saturday: 6 p.m. at South Field in Provo, Utah
- Records: Fuego 5-2-0, Cougars 2-3-3
- Webcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOEFzW3iyeg
- Of note: Fire Squad Fresno is hosting a watch party at Tioga Sequoia Brewing Co.