It was an exciting, physical, back-and-forth duel between Sacramento Gold FC and CD Aguiluchos USA. However, neither team was able to find a breakthrough, as the National Game of the Week finished in a scoreless draw Saturday at Capital Christian High School.
The 0-0 finish is, quite frankly, bizarre considering both teams’ recent history against each other. Over the past three seasons, eight of the nine matchups between the two have featured at least four goals. Four of those games saw at least seven goals. But this edition was quite the opposite, despite plenty of effort by both teams, whose rosters featured talent not unfamiliar with local soccer fans. Sacramento’s offense was led by Alfonso Motagalvan, while Dominik Jakubek helped anchor the defense. Meanwhile, Octavio Guzman proved plenty of punch to the Aguiluchos attack.
The fireworks got started about ten minutes into the game off of a throw-in for Sacramento. Kaba Alkebulan got the ball and made a quick turn into the box, firing a ball at the goal. Unfortunately for the home crowd, the Aguiluchos goalkeeper was able to make the save.
Aguiluchos nearly got something off of a small defensive miscue from Sacramento. A simple ball played into the right side of the box went a bit further than expected, allowing the Aguiluchos attack to advance. However, Sacramento goalkeeper Philip Bru was able to swoop in and collect the ball.
Sacramento then got the best chance of the game – a two-on-one breakaway at around midfield. Though the Gold went in for the attack, the Aguiluchos defense was able to get back in time to force a long distance shot, which sailed wide left.
The Gold also nearly scored just before halftime. A sharp shot forced a quick save, with the rebound falling right to Nico Gonazalez, who fired the ball at goal. However, the Aguiluchos keeper was able to sprawl across the ground and keep the ball from going over the line.
Though both teams had chances in the second half, none came particularly close to getting the breakthrough. However, the physical play turned up a notch, with confrontations getting bigger and longer as the game went on and the referee needing to step in a number of times. Still, both teams ended the match with 11 players, albeit with no goals.
The draw gives Aguiluchos four points through two road games to start the season. Sacramento, meanwhile, has drawn twice at home to begin the schedule.
Both Sacramento and Aguiluchos will now enter their first bye week of the season. Both will return on Saturday, April 7 – Sacramento will host conference newcomers Academica SC while Aguiluchos welcomes their Bay Area rivals, the East Bay Stompers.