SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In a wild, back-and-forth contest which included two missed penalty kicks, Sacramento Gold FC and Portland Spartans FC played to a 1-1 draw in a battle of top West Region teams Sunday at Capital Christian High School.
Gabe Padilla notched the lone goal on the day for Sacramento. Portland’s scoring came from the foot of Christian Desir.
The Gold came out attacking early. In the fifth minute, Fernando Cabadas cut inside the left of the box and sent a shot in at goal. However, his ball was just right of the goal.
Three minutes later, Erick Vega was sent through on goal, but his shot was stopped by Portland goalkeeper Jason Hines. Seconds later, the ball was played into the box just inches in front of Cabadas’ head.
The Spartans got their first big chance on goal in the 16th minute. A through ball sent Gerardo Marin through on the right of the box. Sacramento goalkeeper Max Herrera was up to the task, deflecting Marin’s shot for a corner kick.
In the 26th minute, Oswin Williams found himself unmarked in the box off a Portland free kick. However, his header was just high of the crossbar.
Four minutes later, Sacramento got its own free kick at the top of the Portland box. The free kick found Padilla’s head. Like his Portland counterpart though, his effort was too high.
Sacramento would pay for the miss. The ensuing offensive effort saw the ball make into the Gold box, where Sacramento was unable to clear its lines. The bouncing ball eventually found Desir, who poked it past Herrera to put Portland up 1-0 in the 31st minute.
It looked like the Gold would equalize in the 38th minute. About to receive a ball in the center of the box, Andrew Robles was brought down hard by Hines. The referee blew his whistle and pointed at the spot, awarding Sacramento a penalty kick. However, Padilla did not strike the ball cleanly, sending a trickling shot wide right of the goal. The game would enter halftime shortly after.
After a shot from David Hernandez opened up the shots in the second half, Sacramento saw a decent pair of chances early on. Andrew Robles fired off a shot that was deflected late for a corner kick. Though the corner proved ineffective, Bo Fonseca got another shot in goal a few minutes later. His screamer sailed just right of the goal.
In the 57th minute, Abrahm Prado sent a lob into the box for a running Padilla, whose shot was sent straight at Hines.
Padilla redeemed himself for his earlier miss in the 59th minute. Receiving a pass at the top of the box, Padilla spun to his right and sent a curling shot at goal. The nicely placed shot sailed by Hines and into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
In the 67th minute, the Gold defense let slip a ball past them to the newly subbed in Josemaria Portillo. Streaking towards goal, Portillo sent his shot just high of the goal.
Only a minute later, the Spartans found Portillo along at the top of the box. Portillo was brought down by Herrera, who was whistled for the foul and given a yellow card.
Facing a penalty kick, Herrera found redemption by diving right and stopping Desir’s shot. It was Herrera’s second successfully saved penalty kick this season.
After both teams had some decent chances, Portland came up with a pair of close calls. In the 78th minute, Williams made a nice run up the right side of goal. His cross across goal found no one and skidded out of harm’s way.
Just a minute later, the ball was back in the Gold box. The ball eventually rolled to Hernandez, whose shot was saved by Herrera.
The Gold got a couple close headers on goal in the waning minutes of the game. In the 89th minute, Padilla again got his head on a cross. However, his shot was right at Hines, who made the save. In the second minute of stoppage time, Elliot Chambers got his head on a corner kick, but put the ball just wide of the post.
Portland nearly won the game in the dying seconds. On the counter attack, Hernandez got a run at goal down the left side. Hernandez faked a shot and passed to Omani, who looked to have a simple tap-in from the penalty spot. Danny Lamelli would have the final say, sliding across the goal line to clear the ball and preserve the draw.
The draw brings Sacramento to ten points on the season, enough to move the Gold back up to first place in the Golden Gate Conference.
The Gold will next face off against CD Aguluchos USA. The Saturday night soccer gets underway on Saturday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at Capital Christian High School.
LINEUPS/SUBSTITUTIONS: Sacramento Gold FC: G Max Herrera, D Rene Piña, Danny Lamelli, Anthony Gallo, Erick Vega, M Andrew Robles, Fernando Cabadas, Cuco Martinez (Elliot Chambers 80’), Bo Fonseca, F Gabe Padilla, Abrahm Prado
Portland Spartans FC: GK Jason Hines, D Brody Voge, Christian Martinez, Jordan Selland, Pierce Nusbaum, M Ryan Middleton, Evans Omani, Omar Gomez (Josemaria Portillo 65’), F Gerardo Marin (David Hernandez 32’), Oswin Williams, Christian Desir
SCORING SUMMARY: SFC – Christian Desir 31’
SAC – Gabe Padilla (Bo Fonseca) 59’
DISCIPLINE: SFC – Ryan Middleton (Yellow Card) 36’