Sacramento Republic FC battled to a 1-1 draw against rivals LA Galaxy II to remain undefeated against Los Dos in 2016. With the draw, Republic FC clinched a home playoff match at Bonney Fieldwhich will take place on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Los Dos held possession early on in the match, with a few attempts on goal but none posed much danger to Republic FC. The first good look for Republic FC came in the 14th minute when forward Harry Williams sent a grounded shot towards Los Dos goalkeeper Clement Diop’s goal, but it went wide.
The best chance of the first half for Republic FC came off a cross by defender Elliott Hord. In the 42nd minute, Hord made a streaking run down the right and lofted the ball towards goal where Williams was waiting. Williams attempted a header into the goal but was blocked. The ball fell to midfielder Danny Barrera whose shot went well wide for the match to remain scoreless.
However, LA Galaxy II would break the deadlock just before the half. Midfielder Jose Villarreal made a good run up the right and beat his defender to send a perfectly placed cross for forward Ethan Zubak to just flick it back towards goal and past Republic FC goalkeeper Evan Newton. With the goal, Los Dos headed into halftime up 1-0.
Despite being down a goal, Republic FC did not pull back in the second half. The home team came out strong, applying heavy pressure to Los Dos’ defense right from the restart. In the 46th minute, midfielder Danny Barrera tried his luck and chipped the ball but it was cleared out for a Republic FC corner.
The match became a little chippy as Republic FC pushed for an equalizer and in the 62nd minute Los Dos midfielder Bryam Rebollon earned the first caution of the match. In the 75th minute, Rebollon would receive his second booking of the match and earn an ejection, leaving Los Dos with 10 men for the remainder of the match.
Republic FC’s constant pressure paid off in the 80th minute when second half substitute Wilson Kneeshaw blasted a rebound into the net. Cameron Iwasa had sent in a powerful shot towards Diop for the goalkeeper to block it but Kneeshaw streaked into the area to blast the ball into Diop’s goal and tie the match. The match would end in 1-1 draw and Republic FC would finish the 2016 season undefeated in regular season play against Los Dos.
This is Wilson’s third goal in four matches since joining Republic FC in August and his second against LA. Wilson scored the equalizer in Republic FC’s last match, another 1-1 draw against Los Dos on Saturday, Sept. 10.
“The game was littered with fouls, which I hate to see that,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “I hate seeing it for our fans but a point in the end is a good return because it keeps us at the top of the league.”
With tonight’s draw, Republic FC have earned a home playoff match, which will be played on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Bonney Field. Kickoff is 7:30 pm. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Scoring Summary: LA – Ethan Zubak (Jose Villareal) 45; SAC – Wilson Kneeshaw 80
Misconduct Summary: LA – Bryam Rebellon (caution) 62, Nate Smith (caution) 65, Bryam Rebellon (ejection) 75; SAC – Danny Barrera (caution) 69, Iwasa (caution) 74; KIffe (caution) 90.
LA Galaxy II – Clement Diop; Nate Smith, Jeffrey Payeras, Bradley Diallo, Josh Turnley; Denzel Slager, Bryan Rebollon, Jaime Villarreal, Jose Villarreal (Bradford Jamieson IV 63); Adonis Amaya (Ariel Lassiter 60), Ethan Zubak (Alejandro Covarrubias 76).
Subs Not Used: Oscar Sorto, Hugo Arellano, Lee Nishanian, Eric Lopez
Stats: Shots: 4, Shots on Goal: 2, Saves: 3, Fouls: 20, Corner Kicks: 2, Offside: 1.
Sacramento Republic FC – Evan Newton; Elliott Hord, Carlos Rodriguez (Wilson Kneeshaw 63), Chris Christian, Mike da Fonte, James Kiffe; Jeremy Hall, Danny Barrera (JJ Koval 89), Matt LaGrassa (Carlton Cole 58); Cameron Iwasa, Harry Williams (Daniel Trickett-Smith 87).
Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Alfonso Motagalvan, Octavio Guzman.
Stats: Shots: 15, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 1, Fouls: 20, Corner Kicks: 2, Offside: 2.