Sacramento Republic FC started out strong in their first friendly match of 2018. Within the first five minutes both Wilson Kneeshaw and Cameron Iwasa had attacking chances. Kneeshaw showed some fancy footwork to charge into the box before forcing a corner kick. Iwasa got a strong shot on goal off of a corner kick that was saved by Sacramento Gold goalkeeper John Connolly.
Republic FC would open the scoring in the 15th minute off of a set piece. Defender Hayden Partain whipped in a free-kick from just outside the box that was deflected towards midfielder Villyan Bijev. Bijev was in the right place at the right time and he finished off the play with a strong redirected header for the opening goal.
After Republic FC made 11 substitutions to start the second half, Sac Gold drew even in the 57th minute. Forward Kaba Alkebulan was able to slip the Republic FC defense before beating keeper Rafael Diaz in a breakaway chance. Moments after drawing even, Sacramento Gold forward Steven Wright was shown a straight red card in the 63rd minute after a tackle that stopped a clear-scoring chance just outside the box.
Republic FC recaptured the lead in the 86th minute when midfielder Keven Aleman beat the defense and rifled a left-footed shot top-shelf. The Gold had a last-minute chance to equalize again but Republic FC keeper Rafael Diaz made a crucial save to secure the 2-1 victory for Sacramento Republic FC.
“I thought our position was good,” said Head Coach Simon Elliott. “We need to be more incisive in the final third. I was pleased with the way we tried to keep the ball. Overall, it was probably a typical first game.”
Sacramento Republic FC 2:1 Sacramento Gold FC
American River College – Sacramento, CA
February 10, 2018
Scoring Summary: SRFC – Villyan Bijev (Hayden Partain) 15, Keven Aleman 86; SAC – Kaba Alkebulan 57
Misconduct Summary: SRFC – Jaime Villareal (caution) 10; SAC – Kaba Alkebulan (caution) 26, Gabe Padilla (caution) 37, Steven Wright (ejection) 63
Sacramento Gold FC – John Connolly (Armando Quezada), Steven Wright, Selvin Bonilla (Evan Alvarez), Dominik Jakubek, Zach Ulrich, Alfonso Motagalvan, Amobi Okugo, Roberto Mendoza, (Solomi Olajide) Danny Cuevas (Daniel Lomeli), Kaba Alkabulan (Cole Alexander), Gabe Padilla (Alex Paz).
Subs Not Used: none.
Sacramento Republic FC – Josh Cohen (Raphael Diaz), Hayden Partain (Luis Espino), Cole Seiler (Camron Krow), Mitchell Taintor (Brian Nana-Sinkam), Josh Turnley (Luis Martinez), Jeremy Hall (Khalid Arramdani), Wilson Kneeshaw (Shannon Gomez), Jaime Villareal (Boubacar Diallo), Christian Eissele (Jose Carrera Garcia), Villyan Bijev (Brad Burkhardt), Cameron Iwasa (Kevin Aleman).
Subs Not Used: none.
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