The first ever I-80 Classico is in the books with FC Davis and Sacramento Gold playing a physical battle that ended in a 1-1 draw.
After the opening handshakes, it was time for the two clubs to finally meet on the pitch to open the their yearly home and away series.
“Many of us know each other.” FC Davis starting goalkeeper Kris Schultz said. “On top of the rivalry, there is also personal battles going on which makes it all that more fun.”
The game began with the Golden Lions pressing the Sacramento goal early and often. A flurry of chances in the opening ten minutes set the tone for a positive night as the FC Davis wingers were able to take advantage of some stray passes from the Gold’s defenders to get in on frame.
At the ‘8 minute mark, Miguel Acevedo slipped free behind the home teams defense and found himself 1v1 with the keeper only to be brought down from behind.
Play grinded to a halt, but no whistle came as the Golden Lions ran to the referee in protest.
“I felt it was a PK, but it wasn’t called and we had to move on.” said Miguel Acevedo. “We can’t change calls and need to focus on the things we can control in order to have a positive impact on the match. The ref makes decisions, we must respect it and continue to play our game.”
After the opening ten minutes, play evened out as Sacramento found their rhythm and began to use their physicality to an advantage.
Consistently winning 50/50 balls and putting in crunching tackles, the match turned into a game of half chances for the following 30 minutes.
“The consistent physical nature of their play took the game in a different direction.” said winger Carlos Lezama. "I felt we did a good job trying to influence the game with our style of play but they were effective in disrupting what we do best.”
At the ‘40 minute mark, FC Davis finally broke through after leading scorer Miguel Acevedo struck for his third goal of the season when he finished a pass from Carlos Lezama five minutes before half time.
After a series of quick combinations, the ball found Lezama’s feet on top of the box who slotted it back post to a pouncing Acevedo and the away side was up a goal going into half.
Starting the second period, the Gold started off strong, scoring a goal off a set piece that evened the match at 1-1.
After a foul at midfield, the Gold caught FC Davis off guard with a quick restart, swung a 50 yard ball into the back post which was met with a quality header that ended up in the back of the Golden Lions net.
After the score was tied, the rest of the match was filled with chances for both teams, as the Gold were counter attacking with success and FC Davis created chances through wide play.
“We felt we could of done better both offensively and defensively.” said Greg Salazar. “We were a bit loose on offense which led to a lot of the opportunities Sacramento had. We know we can’t gift chances during the game and tonight we were a bit off mark.”
FC Davis who current sit tied for third, return the friendly confines of Aggie Football Stadium for the first ever NPSL meeting with Academica SC on Saturday night at 7:00pm.
Sacramento Gold have an away game at East Bay Stompers who are currently tied for 3rd place with FC Davis.