SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After a month on the road, Sacramento Gold FC finally returned to the friendly confines of Capital Christian High School Saturday to battle to a 1-1 draw with CD Aguiluchos USA.
The result is the third consecutive draw for Sacramento, after not having any ties at all last season. However, the Gold are the first team to take points from the Aguiluchos, who had won each of their previous six games this season.
Going into the match, everyone expected a goal fest, as had become tradition when these two teams take the field. The Gold and Aguiluchos had played each other seven times over the past three season. None of those matches featured less than four goals, while the majority of them (including four of the last five) saw at least seven balls go in the back of the net.
However, both teams would be without key components of their offenses. Sacramento's Matt Wiesnfarth, among the top goal scorers in the league and a previous recipient of the Mitre National Player of the Week award, did not play, while the Aguiluchos were missing former NPSL Player of the Year and NPSL Best XI member Ross Middlemiss.
This meant the end result had far less offense than previously featured. However, this doesn't mean there was less drama, and less chances.
Both teams came out of the gates with dangerous opportunities, before the home squad finally converted near the middle of the first half thanks to a Danny-Danny connection. Midfielders Cuevas and Lomeli put together a nice combination play that ended with the ball across the line and Sacramento with a 1-0 lead at the half.
But, the Golden Gate Conference-leading Aguiluchos fought back in the second half, tying the game at 1-1 when Ricardo Guerra struck the ball by the near post.
Both teams would push to break the deadlock, but the tie held, and both teams were left wanting more.
The result leaves an interesting set-up for the stretch run of the season. Sacramento sits in second place in the conference with nine points, though the rival Sonoma County Sol are only one point back and have two more games left to play. The Gold does play three of its last four games at home, including a third showdown with the Sol in three weeks time.
But first, Sacramento Gold FC will once again be back on the road. The next stop is Hayward, where the Gold will face the East Bay Stompers on Saturday, May 20. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at CSU East Bay's Pioneer Stadium.