Republic FC defeated Fresno FC in their last encounter, a 1-0 win in the Third Round of the 2019 U.S. Open Cup.
Republic FC (7-6-2, 23 pts) will play their second consecutive derby match in less than a week when regional rivals Fresno FC visit Papa Murphy’s Park on Wednesday night. The boys in Old Glory Red are looking to rebound following a tough 2-0 loss to Reno 1868 FC in Nevada on Saturday night that brought an end to SRFC’s three-game unbeaten run in league play. Despite 13 corner kick chances and a golden opportunity from the penalty spot for Simon Elliott’s men, Reno‘s defense held off the Republic FC attack to ultimately secure all three points.
One positive characteristic about Republic FC’s squad this season has been the teams’ resilient mental strength and their ability to put a loss behind them and immediately focus on the next match. Bouncing back following a loss this season has been a common theme for SRFC. In 2019, the Indomitable Club post a 4-0-1 (W-L-D) record in all competitions in the match immediately after having tasted defeat. Aside from a 0-0 draw against Phoenix Rising in late April, Republic FC have outscored their opposition 10-0 during this recent rebound run.
Fresno FC (7-2-7, 28 pts) have been heating up since dropping back-to-back games to close out the month of May. Since the pair of losses, one of which was the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Simon Elliott’s men in U.S. Open Cup play, Fresno has been unbeaten in four consecutive matches, including two straight victories in league play. Most recently, the team blanked El Paso Locomotive at home, 3-0, with all three goals finding the back of the net in the final half hour of action.
The visitors have a solid attacking front, anchored by forward Qudus Lawal who leads the team with seven goals. Hot on his tail is former Wolverhampton and Blackburn striker Jemal Johnson with six this season. Fresno has four players with three goals a piece, one of them being former Republic FC forward and Fresno native, Christian Chaney. Goal scorers aside, Fresno has a handful of dangerous playmakers in their midfield. While Jackson leads the team in assists with five, Juan Pablo Caffa is the offensive architect with 32 total chances created (T-8th in the Western Conference).
Republic FC has never lost to Fresno at home across all competitions in club history and aside from Fresno’s lone win over SRFC over a year ago, the Highway 99 Derby has been fairly one-sided. Since that singular win for Fresno, in all competitions including extra time, it’s been 300 minutes (two USL games and one U.S. Open Cup match) since the visitors last scored on the boys in Old Glory Red. Of those three wins, two were won by Republic FC in the final quarter hour of play.
Even though Sacramento has the upper hand in the rivalry, Fresno is currently above the hosts in the USL Championship Western Conference standings. While SRFC sits in ninth place with 23 points, Fresno FC has managed to climb up to third with 28 points.
Wednesday’s match will be nationally broadcast exclusively on ESPN 3. Updates online will also be provided via Twitter at @SacRepublicFC or by following #SACvFRS. To see more matchday information, visit SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.
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