SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Gold FC got to play in front of its home crowd for the first time in more than a month Saturday, earning a point thanks to a stoppage time penalty kick in a 2-2 draw with the East Bay Stompers at Capital Christian High School.
The visitors struck quickly – off the opening whistle, the Stompers dribbled their way up the field, with Grevin Pacheco finishing the attack to give his squad the lead just seconds into the match.
Sacramento nearly struck back in the ninth minute thanks to some nifty work from Danny Cuevas, who slotted a ball from the left side into the center of the box. Gabe Padilla got on the end of the cross, but his redirection was wide right.
East Bay came close to making it 2-0 in the 17th minute, when Pacheco got on the end of a giveaway by the Gold and started a two-on-one breakaway. Pacheco fed the ball to Gustavo Rico, and only a nice save by Gold goalkeeper Hector Grajeda kept the shot from going in.
Four minutes later, Rico got off another close attempt, knocking the ball away from Chris Christian and lofting a curling shot towards goal. The ball struck the crossbar, but bounced away from danger.
In the 33rd minute, it was Stompers goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek to make a good play. After Nico Gonzalez intercepted a pass in the East Bay defensive end, he found Riley Kraft on the left side. Kraft got free and fired a quick shot that Jakubek was able to deflect away.
As the second half went on, the Gold controlled more and more possession and continued to pile pressure on the Stompers defense.
Those efforts finally bore fruit in the 71st minute when Alexis Dionisio was brought down just above the top left of the box. Kraft stepped up take the free kick, sending a beautiful shot curling into the top left corner of the net. Jakubek didn’t even try to save the attempt, which tied the score at 1-1.
The deadlock would last eight minutes, until Jorge Burton freed Pacheco up the middle on a counter attack. Pacheco sent a shot at goal that Javier Grajeda managed to get a foot on. However, the ball had already crossed the line, making it 2-1.
Kraft nearly equalized in the 83rd minute on a nifty give-and-go with Roberto Mendoza in the box. Kraft got close, but Jakubek was there to stonewall the attempt.
The match started to get chippy towards the end, with Aaron Molina being sent off for a double yellow card at the end of regulation time, reducing the Gold to ten men.
However, Sacramento was given one last chance in stoppage time when Chase Gray was brought down in the box. The official signaled for a penalty kick, which Gonzalez buried to make it 2-2 and secure a point for the home squad.
Sacramento Gold FC won’t have to wait another month – only one week – for their next home match. FC Davis comes to Capital Christian High School on Saturday, May 4. Kickoff for the upcoming Causeway Classico is set for 7 p.m.