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Match Recap: Espino's 89th-minute strike preserves undefeated start to the season

By Sean Steimel, 04/28/18, 11:00PM PDT


Republic FC extended its unbeaten run to seven games after a 1-1 draw with Tulsa Roughnecks FC.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 28, 2018) — Republic FC came back from a goal down for a second consecutive match to rescue a point in front of a sold-out crowd at Papa Murphy’s Park. Luis Espino’s 89th minute strike canceled out Joaquin Rivas’ early goal to extend  Republic FC’s undefeated start to the season to seven games.

Roughnecks FC took the early lead just two minutes into the match. After Sacramento won a clearance on a ball in the box, Christian Eissele lost the ball in the midfield and the visitors counter-pressed to recover the ball. Midfielder Paris Gee received the ball on the right wing and whipped a cross into the box to an unmarked Rivas. The former SRFC player took advantage to head home and open the scoring.

Shortly after Rivas’ early strike, Republic FC thought they had earned a penalty when Jure Matjasic, making his first start for Sacramento, appeared to be brought down in the box. The foul was not awarded and Republic FC continued to search for an equalizer. Despite enjoying the majority of possession, the home side would go into the half down a goal.

Josh Cohen kept Republic FC in the match in the second half. The keeper was called on to make a crucial save on a breakaway chance for Tulsa forward Riggs Lennon. Although defenders Carlos Rodriguez and Cole Seiler tracked back to try to slow up the attack, Cohen was still called into action to make a diving stop on the play.

Republic FC finally found the equalizer in the 89th minute thanks to second-half substitute Luis Espino. After mounting pressure on the Tulsa defense, Villyan Bijev was able to slide a perfectly weighted through ball to Espino down the left side of the box. Espino fired a shot at goal that was deflected by a defender and beat Roughnecks FC keeper Fabian Cerda. The 89th minute goal was Espino’s first of the season and helped continue Republic FC’s best start to a season in club history.

“We can’t turn the ball over,” said Republic FC Head Coach Simon Elliott after the draw. “We still have work to do.”

Sacramento is on the road next week for a Wednesday, May 2, matchup against Portland Timbers 2. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the match will be broadcast live on KQCA My58, Estrella TV and ESPN+.

Sacramento Republic FC 1:1 Tulsa Roughnecks FC

USL Match

Papa Murphy’s Park – Sacramento, CA

April 28, 2018 – Attendance: 11,569 (sell-out)


Scoring Summary: TUL – Joaquin Rivas (Paris Gee) 2; SRFC – Luis Espino (Villyan Bijev) 89

Misconduct Summary: TUL – Adrian Jusino (caution) 31, Ivan Mirkovic (caution) 58; SRFC – Cole Seiler (caution) 45, Shannon Gomez (caution) 45

Tulsa Roughnecks FC – Fabian Cerda, Francisco Ugarte, Wyatt Omsberg, Adrian Jusino, Jonathan Levin, Ivan Mirkovic (Josh Morton 78), Paris Gee, Santi Maidana (Michael Binns 18), Joaquin Rivas, Fernando Arce, Riggs Lennon (Michael Gamble 69).

Subs Not Used: Chase Gentry, Eti Tavares, Jhon Pirez, Christian Rodriguez.

Stats: Shots: 9, Shots on Goal: 5, Saves: 4, Fouls: 16, Corner Kicks: 1, Offside: 2.

Sacramento Republic FC – Josh Cohen, Cole Seiler, Carlos Rodriguez (Luis Espino 81), Mitchell Taintor, Shannon Gomez, Adam Moffat, Jeremy Hall, Jaime Villarreal (Wilson Kneeshaw 67), Villyan Bijev, Jure Matjasic, Christian Eissele (Cameron Iwasa 63).

Subs Not Used: Rafael Diaz, Justin Schmidt, Hayden Partain, Roberto Hategan.

Stats: Shots: 14, Shots on Goal: 5, Saves: 4, Fouls: 15, Corner Kicks: 7, Offside: 1.


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