It might not have been the prettiest outcome, but it was a crucial one.
On Wednesday night, Republic FC subdued a feisty Las Vegas Lights FC side and remained in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race following a 0-0 draw at Papa Murphy’s Park. Though they would have preferred to walk away with all three points, there were still a handful of positives that came from the draw, including the debut of Dariusz Formella, a fourth clean sheet from seven matches and another solid performance from Rafael Diaz.
Defender Juan Barahona and the rest of the SRFC backline limited Lights FC to just one shot on target all game.
For the fourth time in seven matches—and the 11th time this season across all competitions— Republic FC recorded another clean sheet. With 12 matches left on the schedule, Simon Elliott’s men are one clean sheet away from tying their total shutouts tally from the entire 2018 campaign (12). The nine clean sheets in league play this year also tie Republic FC for fifth-best in the entire league.
The 0-0 draw against Las Vegas was the fifth time this season that the boys in Old Glory Red held the opposition to just a single shot on target. Adding to the feat is the fact that the Nevadan club were fourth in the Western Conference in shots taken going into Wednesday’s match.
SRFC keeper Rafa Diaz got his second shutout of the season against Las Vegas.
Republic FC goalkeeper Rafael Diaz has ably stepped up between the pipes since the departure of Josh Cohen last month and continued his fine form on Wednesday night. Diaz didn’t see a shot on target until the bitter end, but when he was finally called upon, the former New York Red Bulls keeper and USL Cup champion came up big and preserved the point for Sacramento with his second shutout of the season.
Polish playmaker Dariusz "Darek" Formella made his Republic debut as a second-half substitute against Lights FC.
Knotted at zeros and hoping to finally break through a chaotic Sin City side, Simon Elliott called upon the most recent addition to his attacking arsenal, Polish playmaker Dariusz Formella. Entering the match in the 77th minute, the former Lech Poznan man made a solid first impression and nearly got a hockey assist on a late play to Juan Barahona whose cross was headed just over the bar by Sam Werner.
Formella, who previously competed at the highest level in his homeland, was announced on July 18. The 23-year-old had a decorated club career with Lech Poznan (won the league title and two Polish SuperCups) and Arka Gdynia (won the Polish Cup) and even competed in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League Qualifiers with Lech Poznan. Formella has also represented his country at the youth national team level, most recently with Poland’s U-21 Men’s National Team.
Republic FC are back home on Saturday, August 17, against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. and tickets to the match are available via Ticketmaster.com.
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