The match was a heated contest from the beginning with both sides battling to secure the top spot in the USL Western Conference. Republic FC defender Elliott Hord, in his first start for the club, provided the first scoring opportunity of the match, drawing a free kick in the 12th minute. Midfielder Danny Barrera then sent a left-footed, in-swinging, free-kick to the near post for Cameron Iwasa. The forward was able to get a quick heel-flick to the ball sending it toward the back post. Defender Chris Christian was in attacking position and flung his foot at the ball, barely missing his touch as the ball went wide of the post by mere inches and out of play.
The best chance of the half for Republic FC came in the 39th minute. Iwasa put on a brilliant bit of individual play dribbling around multiple defenders as he took the ball down the left side. After creating a bit of space in the box he sent a left-footed shot toward goal that beat Whitecaps FC 2 goalkeeper Spencer Richey but would hit the crossbar and ricochet out of bounds to keep the match scoreless at the half.
The second half looked much like the first, but this time Whitecaps FC 2 had the first look at goal. In the 56th minute, veteran forward Kyle Greig was able to separate himself from the defense just outside the box. Greig sent a low, driven left-footed shot that looked destined for the left side of the goal, but would sail just wide of the post.
Barrera had a chance of his own go begging in the 73rd minute when he sent a rebound side-volley back towards the net after Iwasa’s initial attempt was blocked away. Barrera had time to let the ball fall to his preferred left-foot as he sent a rocket shot that went through a mass of defenders but flew just inches wide of the post.
Republic FC’s newly-signed striker Carlton Cole, veteran of the Premier League, made his debut for the club in the 77th minute. Cole was denied the winning goal in the last five minutes of the match by a timely save from Richey. Cole was lurking in the center of the box and was able to get a head on a cross but Richey was there to block the attempt away keeping the match scoreless.
“Normally in a game like that when you dominate with so many chances and a lot of possession, you get flipped on,” said Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle after the draw. “I wanted to change the dynamic. I was very pleased with the players tonight and our energy level was right up there.”
The match was the third consecutive shutout for Republic FC, who push their shutout streak to 270 consecutive minutes. With the draw, Republic FC maintain possession of first place in the USL Western Conference standings with 44 points, two points ahead of the second place Rio Grande Valley FC Toros.
Republic FC finish their short, two-match home stand when they take on Orange County Blues FC on Saturday, Sept. 3. Kickoff moves back to 7:30 p.m. at Bonney Field. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com.
Scoring Summary: none.
Misconduct Summary: SRFC – Chris Christian (caution) 58
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – Spencer Richey; Brett Levis, Pa-Madou Kah (Elliot Green 83), Sem de Wit, Cole Seiler; Ben McKendry, William Seymore (Matt Baldisimo 90), Marco Bustos (Thomas Sanner 66), Daniel Haber, Deklan Wynne (Fatawu Safiu 72); Kyle Greig.
Subs Not Used: Sean Melvin; Christopher Diaz, Thomas Gardner.
Stats: Shots: 7, Shots on Goal: 1, Saves: 2, Fouls: 12, Corner Kicks: 1, Offside: 1.
Sacramento Republic FC – Evan Newton; James Kiffe, Chris Christian, Mike da Fonte, Elliott Hord (Carlton Cole 77); JJ Koval (Wilson Kneeshaw 64), Jeremy Hall (Mackenzie Pridham 87), Octavio Guzman, Matt LaGrassa (Harry Williams 83), Danny Barrera, Cameron Iwasa
Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek; Alfonso Motagalvan, Carlos Rodriguez.
Stats: Shots: 17, Shots on Goal: 2, Saves: 1, Fouls: 3, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 1.