At times, football can be a funny game.
It can also be unforgiving.
After putting on a 90 minute show against reigning Western Conference champions CD Aguiluchos Saturday night in Oakland, the Golden Lions left the field frustrated after missing countless attempts on goal.
The game was dominated by FC Davis midfield trio of Allan Espinoza, Onah Power and Carlos Carranza’s intricate passing and pressing defense. It was more of the same when UC Davis standout Miguel Acevedo entered the pitch and stamped the game with his trademark creativity and physical style of play.
The FC Davis attack was highlighted by flank duo Dalton Pando and Evan Barrett, who at times seemed unarguable.
Their combination of pace and skill was too much for the Aguiluchos defenders who were getting beat seemingly at will as the game progressed.
Despite all their entertainment, the teams magic seemed to disappear in front of the net.
A combination of quality saves and off target shots left the Golden Lions with a sour taste in their mouth upon the final whistle.
The difference in the game came off a set piece when recent Sacramento Republic starter Octavio Guzman’s free kick deflected off the FC Davis wall and slow rolled into the net 15 minutes after kickoff.
From that point on, Aguiluchos were unable to muster any offense for nearly 65 minutes until FC Davis keeper Kris Schultz came up big with a 1v1 save on a counter attack.
After the match, head coach Andrew Bailey echoed his teams frustration. “We started off a little shaky and conceded a soft, early goal. However once we settled in, we created numerous chances that we just didn’t capitalize on.”
“I am proud of the way we played and we created more than enough to win, but when you don’t take advantage on your chances, the result will never be in your favor.”
FC Davis standout midfielder Allan Espinoza was a bit more frank when describing the match.
“I think both teams and the all spectators know who dominated that game despite the score” he said. “We look forward to seeing them in our house come May.”
The game capped off a wild opening weekend in the NPSL Golden Gate Conference which saw two stoppage time equalizers and a near three goal comeback by Sonoma County Sol after going down 0-3 to Academica 15 minutes into the match.
The stage is set for an exciting NPSL Golden Gate Conference regular season with quality across the conference.
FC Davis continues play against East Bay Stompers with their home opener on Saturday, March 24th, 7:00PM at Aggie Football Stadium prior to the Easter weekend break.
The game will see the Golden Lions host the town of Davis’ first ever professional soccer match.