The Indomitable Club returned from Reno this past weekend with a point in the Group A standings after playing to a 1-1 draw with 1868 FC on Saturday night.
Republic FC were hoping to cut Reno’s gap at the top of the table down to two points but even though Mark Briggs’ men currently trail 1868 FC by five points – the boys in Old Glory Red can still claim the top spot with two wins in its last two matches as long as Reno loses its final two remaining fixtures.
This week marks the final stretch of the regular season and SRFC has two crucial contests waiting for them in the coming days. But before the squad starts to focus on its midweek matchup against Tacoma Defiance in Washington, it’s time to reflect on the positive takeaways from Saturday’s stalemate in Nevada.
The playoff-bound boys in Old Glory Red have not tasted defeated in well over two months and if the squad finishes the season strong with either a win or a draw in both of its last two remaining games then Mark Briggs’ men will set an all-time club record for longest unbeaten streak across all competitions.
Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu returned to the lineup for the first time since missing action due to injury and played the full 90 minutes against Reno.
Republic FC’s current undefeated run reached ten over the weekend after Saturday night’s 1-1 draw in Reno. The double-digit streak is the second longest in club history and just one result away from tying the all-time record of 11 straight games set in 2016.
The first and only time the club went on a 10-game unbeaten run was back in 2014 during SRFC’s inaugural campaign that culminated with a championship-winning playoff run. But victories or even draws across the club’s final two matches will see Republic FC’s unbeaten streak hit an all-time high of 12 – and if the squad continues its run deep into the postseason – the ending to the unprecedented 2020 USL Championship season could be a historic one for the boys in Old Glory Red.
Republic FC was up against one of the top offensive units in the league on Saturday and the squad performed admirably against a potent attack on its home turf in Nevada.
Dekel Keinan led the defensive charge with a pair of tackles, collected two interceptions and two clearances, won 10 of 11 duels as well as six of six aerial duels. Not only was he a rock on the backline, but Keinan fired home the equalizing goal in the 51st minute. The center back’s second half strike was a carefully steered header into the top corner directly from a corner kick.
Defender Dekel Keinan is in his second season with the Indomitable Club.
Juan Barahona was the man who whipped in the corner and was credited with his second assist this season. The left back made his second start in a row after returning from injury and has been a force on both ends of the field for his side. On Saturday night aside from collecting an assist, Barahona took two shots – one on target – created two scoring chances, contributed one clearance and had a team-high 64 touches.
Across from him on the opposite flank was Jordan McCrary who was credited was one cross and creating one scoring chance on the night while CB Tomas Hilliard-Arce – who made his ninth start for SRFC since joining this offseason – lead Sacramento with creating three scoring opportunities, distributing a team-high 47 passes.
Republic FC made four second half substitutions against Reno 1868 FC on Saturday night and each of them contributed on both ends of the pitch towards helping SRFC return to Sacramento still in the hunt for the top spot in the group.
Villyan Bijev was the first man on for Sacramento and entered the match at the beginning of the second half for Sam Werner. The Bulgarian-born playmaker wasted no time making his mark on the match and his shot on target that was brushed away by the Reno goalkeeper immediately set up the corner kick that Dekel Keinan scored from. Bijev finished the night with two shots and created two scoring chances on top of being the SRFC player responsible for setting up his sides’ second half equalizer.
Strikers Cameron Iwasa and Frank Lopez entered the match late as the Indomitable Club continued pushing forward in search of a late winner. In just the combined 26 minutes both proven goal-scorers were on the field, Iwasa and Lopez managed to fire three shots – one of which was on target from Frankie that forced the GK into a crucial second half save.
Republic FC's offense has averaged over two goals per game over its last seven matches - 16 total goals.
In the 73rd minute, defender Matt Mahoney was brought on to help eliminate any chances of Reno bagging a late winner. In his 17 minutes on the pitch, Mahoney was happy to do the dirty work and registered one tackle, one clearance, one interception and one blocked shot.
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