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Three Takeaways from #SACvPHX

By Emile Guzman, 08/23/21, 12:45PM PDT

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Indomitable Club Shows Quality on Both Ends in Draw with Phoenix

An offensively and defensively sound performance from the Boys in Old Glory Red earned Republic FC a draw at Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday night at Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex. The scoreless draw between the two sides snapped a 32-game scoring streak for Rising FC and keeps SRFC in the thick of the Pacific Division race. 

1. Midfield Maintains Form

Republic FC’s midfield unit performed well for the second straight match. In his second start back from injury, Jaime Villarreal created three chances for the Indomitable club while serving in seven crosses. Academy product Mario Penagos’ first of two shots on the night nearly put the club ahead going into the break, but his right-footed shot would ricochet off the post. 

Luis Felipe finished Saturday’s match with 87% passing accuracy and led the team with 76 touches. Felipe’s performance was excellent on the defensive end, as he finished with a team high seven clearances and two blocked shots to go with a game-high seven successful tackles. 

“I thought all three of them were exceptional again tonight,” said Coach Mark Briggs. “I thought Jaime was very good moving the ball, Luis, especially in possession, was finding good pockets, allowing us to play between lines and switch the point of attack. I thought Mario was very, very good creating opportunities for us tonight.”

2. Pressure’s On

Republic FC’s attacking corps came to play in Saturday’s divisional showdown. The Indomitable Club threw 15 shots at Rising FC and created 13 chances for the night, paced by three from Jaime Villarreal.

Second half urgency was  a major theme for Sacramento in Arizona, as eight of the club’s nine shots on target came in the final 45. Cam Iwasa led the way, putting four shots on frame as Republic FC generated eight opportunities from close range and served up 10 open play crosses.

3. Stifling Defense

In addition to conceding just one shot in the second half, Republic FC allowed just two shots on goal all night. SRFC’s midfield and back line cracked down on an upstart Phoenix offense, finishing the night with four blocked shots and keeping half of Phoenix’s scoring chances to long range  The Boys in Old Glory Red also cut Phoenix’s open play cross tally to three in the second half.

The defensive performance not only secured Republic FC its fourth clean sheet of the season, it marked the first time that Phoenix has been held scoreless all year. Rising FC had scored in 32 consecutive matches dating back to July of 2020, and had been shut out just twice dating back to 2019 across 59 regular season matches.

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