SACRAMENTO, Calif. (August 4, 2018) — Sacramento Republic FC extend their unbeaten run to five games as they defeat Fresno FC 1-0 in the final regular season meeting between the regional rivals.
Fresno FC had had the first chance of the match in the 7th minute when former Republic FC captain Danny Barrera flicked a header just wide of Josh Cohen off a cross from Juan Pablo Caffa. The Fresno captain nearly curled a free kick into the top corner of the net in the 26th minute, but he placed it just high of the crossbar.
Sacramento were twice denied the go-ahead goal by the crossbar in the first half. Jure Matjasic provided a dribbling exhibition in the 17th minute as he got past two defenders on the wing before getting into the six-yard box. With Fresno keeper Kyle Reynish charging off his line, Matjasic attempted to chip his shot over Reynish, but the attempt clipped the crossbar and the visitors cleared the danger. Just a minute later, Villyan Bijev’s side volley attempt on a pinpoint cross from Elliott Hord also struck the woodwork.
Bijev would provide the match-winner with just fifteen minutes to play after receiving a long through ball from Shannon Gomez on the left wing. The former Liverpool player cut inside to his preferred right foot, sending three defenders to the touchline before slotting a perfectly placed strike into the corner of the net.
Cohen preserved the shutout with numerous timely saves, none bigger than a tough, knuckling shot from Jemal Johnson in the 58th minute. Johnson sent his shot right at Cohen as the keeper blocked the initial shot. The ball had so much spin that it bounced towards goal, but Cohen calmly pounced on it before it could leak into the net.
The win ensured Sacramento wrapped up the season series against Fresno 2-1 and moved the club up to third in the Western Conference with 40 points.
Next up for Republic FC is a home matchup against Rio Grande Valley FC Toros on August 11th.
Scoring Summary: SRFC – Villyan Bijev (Shannon Gomez) 76
Misconduct Summary: FRE – Matthew Baldisimo (caution) 32, Alex Cooper (caution) 38, Pedro Ribeiro (caution) 82; SRFC – Jaime Villarreal (caution) 44
Fresno FC – Kyle Reynish; Matthew Baldisimo (Noah Verhoeven 83), Mickey Daly, Ramon Martin Del Campo, Alex Cooper, Agustin Cazarez, Jemal Johnson, Pedro Ribeiro, Danny Barrera, Juan Pablo Caffa (Jose Cuevas 78), Christian Chaney (Franck Tayou 78).
Subs Not Used: Sam Howard, Rony Argueta, Milton Blanco, Cory Brown.
Stats: Shots: 13, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 3, Fouls: 17, Corner Kicks: 2, Offside: 2.
Sacramento Republic FC – Josh Cohen, Elliott Hord, Justin Schmidt, Mitchell Taintor (Cole Seiler 70), Shannon Gomez, Villyan Bijev, Jeremy Hall, Jaime Villarreal, Jure Matjasic (Keven Aleman 69), Cameron Iwasa, Christian Eissele (Adam Moffat 89).
Subs Not Used: Thomas Olsen, Wilson Kneeshaw, Luis Espino, Roberto Hategan.
Stats: Shots: 13, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 4, Fouls: 13, Corner Kicks: 8, Offside: 0.
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