SAN ANTONIO, Texas (June 16, 2018) — A strong defensive performance from San Antonio FC doomed Sacramento Republic FC to a 0-1 loss on the road on Saturday night. The visitors outshot their opponents 37-8, but Diego Restrepo’s heroics in goal denied Republic FC any points from their trip to Toyota Field.
Villyan Bijev had his side’s first chance at goal in the third minute with a low, driven shot at the near post that marked the first of several saves to come from Restrepo.
Jaime Villarreal had another opportunity after Wilson Kneeshaw sent a low ball into the box from the right flank. The cross was cleared out to the top of the box into Villarreal’s path, and unmarked, the former LA Galaxy player attempted to curl a side-footed shot to the top corner of the goal, but sent his effort wide of the post.
Josh Cohen was called into action in the 31st minute when Omar Gordon took on Shannon Gomez on the right wing and beat the defender’s mark to fire a low, powerful shot at the near post that the keeper saved comfortably.
Jure Matjasic had Republic FC’s best chance to score in the first half when he volleyed a cross from Elliott Hord toward goal, but the home keeper got a hand on the shot to parry it clear.
San Antonio opened the scoring against the run of the play just minutes before half time. Ethan Bryant sent a deep ball upfield and over the Sacramento defense to put Cesar Elizando one-on-one with Cohen. The forward was clinical in front of goal, firing past the keeper to tally his first USL goal and give his side the lead in the 43rd minute.
Republic FC completely controlled the second half both in chances created and possession, but their barrage on goal—22 shots in this half alone—was repeatedly met by an impenetrable defensive mural led by Cyprian Hendrick. Time after time, the visitors would drive into the box, usually by way of Bijev and Gomez on the left wing, but every shot and attempt was either saved or cleared away by the home defense.
Sacramento was denied an equalizer in the 56th minute when Restrepo made a point-blank save on Matjasic’s shot from inside the box.
The goalkeeper was the hero once again, making another point blank save in the 70th minute on an improvised shot from Cameron Iwasa following quick ball into the box from Adam Moffat.
Sacramento had another close opportunity minutes later when Gomez whipped a cross from the left wing to Iwasa at the far post, but the forward’s header hit the top of the bar.
In the 86th minute, Bijev fired a long-range effort from outside the 18-yard box, but was denied once more by Restrepo.
With a minute left in stoppage, Luis Espino received the ball at the top of the box following a corner kick and fired a curling shot on his first touch that was headed clear off the goal line by a San Antonio defender.
Republic FC finished the match with 37 shots and 23 chances created, but Restrepo’s nine saves—and the 13 shots his backline blocked—denied Sacramento the much sought-after goal.
Next up for Republic FC is a midweek visit to Major League Soccer’s LAFC to dispute the Round of 16 in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The club will then return home on Saturday, June 23, to resume USL play against St. Louis FC.
Scoring Summary: SA – Cesar Elizondo (Ethan Bryant) 43.
Misconduct Summary: SAC – Shannon Gomez (caution) 28, Villyan Bijev (caution) 43, Jeremy Hall (caution) 60, Adam Moffat (caution) 90+3; SA – Jose Escalante (caution) 90+3.
Sacramento Republic FC – Josh Cohen, Elliott Hord (Christian Eissele 80), Mitchell Taintor, Justin Schmidt, Shannon Gomez, Jaime Villarreal (Adam Moffat 69), Jeremy Hall, Jure Matjasic, Wilson Kneeshaw (Luis Espino 69), Villyan Bijev, Cameron Iwasa.
Subs Not Used: Rafael Diaz, Carlos Rodriguez, Hayden Partain.
Stats: Shots: 37, Shots on Goal: 9, Saves: 3, Fouls: 9, Corner Kicks: 20, Offside: 2.
San Antonio FC – Diego Restrepo, Cyprian Hendrick, Ryan Feliz, Greg Cochrane, Omar Gordon (Charlie Ward 46), Mikey Lopez, Maxi Rodriguez, Jose Escalante, Connor Presley, Cesar Elizondo (Ryan Roushandel 75), Ethan Bryant (Kyle Murphy 81).
Subs Not Used: Matt Cardone, Mike Seth, Sonny Guadarrama, Alex Bruce.
Stats: Shots: 8, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 9, Fouls: 13, Corner Kicks: 1, Offside: 1.
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