SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (October 10, 2020) – Republic FC’s 30-point 2020 USL Championship season ended in Arizona on Saturday night after losing 1-0 to Phoenix Rising FC.
A nil-nil stalemate sent the match into extra time where the hosts found a late winner in the 114th minute. Republic FC were the only team to hold Rising FC scoreless at home across 90 minutes during league play in 2020, a season that saw Phoenix score the most goals in the league during the regular season alongside Reno 1868 FC – who PRFC will meet in the Western Conference Semifinals in Nevada.
Mark Briggs’ men had their best chance in the first half when Dariusz Formella steered a close-range effort on target that Rising FC goalkeeper Zac Lubin kicked away in the 23rd minute. Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu threaded a ball between two defenders to Villyan Bijev on the flank where the winger rifled a cross into the box that Kharlton Belmar nudged to Formella on the doorstep of goal but the Phoenix GK was in the right place at the right time.
Formella finished the USL Championship season with a team-best eight goals in his second season in Sacramento.
Both Formella and Belmar finished the night tied for the most scoring chances created against the Group B winners with three opportunities each.
The game was destined for extra time after a 0-0 result following regulation but the two SRFC attackers carved out another chance in the 95thminute when Belmar nodded a cross down for Formella in the middle of the box but the Polish playmaker narrowly missed the target.
RoRo recorded two shots against Rising FC on Saturday and contributed four crosses.
Republic FC goalkeeper Rafael Diaz came up big in the 103rd minute with a diving stop to his left and preserve the shutout for his side.
But the hosts managed to find the back of the net in the 114th minute when Santi Moar set up Solomon Asante to give Rising FC a late 1-0 lead.
Scoring Summary: PHX – Solomon Asante (Santi Moar) 104’.
Misconduct Summary: SAC – Dariusz Formella (caution) 12’, Rodrigo Lopez (caution) 45’, Tomas Hilliard-Arce (caution) 74’, Jordan McCrary (caution) 87’, Dekel Keinan (caution) 90’; PHX – Rufat Dadashov (caution) 44’, Kevon Lambert (caution) 109’.
Sacramento Republic FC – Rafael Diaz; Shannon Gomez (Matt Mahoney 56’), Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Dekel Keinan, Jordan McCrary, Rodrigo Lopez © (Drew Skundrich 74’), Jaime Villarreal, Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu (Frank Lopez 116’), Villyan Bijev, Dariusz Formella, Kharlton Belmar (Cameron Iwasa 116’).
Unused substitutes: Brady Scott, Hayden Sargis, Rafael Jauregui.
Stats– Shots: 9, Shots on Goal: 1, Saves: 1, Fouls: 25, Corner Kicks: 3, Offsides: 2.
Phoenix Rising FC–Zac Lubin, Darnell King, AJ Cochran, Joseph Farrell, Corey Whelan, Kevon Lambert, Sam Stanton (Jordan Schweitzer 105’), Jon Bakero (Jose Aguinaga 81’), Solomon Asante (Lagos Kunga 120’), Rufat Dadashov (Damion Lowe 118’), Santi Moar (Joey Calistri 116’).
Unused substitutes: Eric Dick, Owusu-Ansah Kontoh.
Stats– Shots: 20, Shots on Goal: 2, Saves: 1, Fouls: 20, Corner Kicks: 7, Offsides: 3.
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