Sacramento Republic marched into Portland on Sunday to take on the winless Timbers 2 but came away with their first loss of the season. The scoring woes continued for the Republic as they were shutout in their second consecutive match. The Republic have been anemic on offense this season, only recording two goals in four matches.
The Republic had chances in the first half and they looked like the more dominant team with heavy possession and a few shots on goal. Danny Barrera had a cross in the 26th minute that found a charging Thomas Stewart but was blocked by Timbers 2 keeper Wade Hamilton. Sacramento's best opportunity came from forward Cameron Iwasa as he found open space at the top of the penalty box and blasted a low shot in the 31st minute that nearly got past Hamilton.
The halftime score was 0-0, with the Republic yet again unable to score a goal in the first half of a game.
The Republic defense looked shaky in the beginning of the second half, with defenders Derek Foran and Chris Christian looking indecisive in their passing. Timbers 2 forward and 2015 USL Rookie of the Year, Kharlton Belmar, took advantage early on to score the only goal of the contest in the 46th minute. Belmar stole the ball from Foran and buried it past goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek into the net, his speed and aggressive pressure taking advantage of the apparent miscommunication in the defense.
San Jose Earthquake loans Tommy Thompson and Adam Jahn came off the bench to start the second half and provide an offensive spark. The Republic would have plenty of opportunity to find the equalizer, but the staunch Timbers 2 defense - which had allowed seven goals in three matches prior to today - made spectacular saves to keep a clean sheet.
The most spectacular chance of the game for Sacramento was a Tommy Thompson bicycle kick that was cleared off the line by Timbers 2 midfielder Brent Richards in the 62nd minute.
Later, in the 75th minute, Adam Jahn collected a straight red card for sliding into T2 goalkeeper Wade Hamilton while going for a loose ball. Despite being a man down, the Republic keet the pressure on and generated some opportunities, but as the theme has been all season long, they were unable to find the back of the net.
With today's loss, the Republic are 2-1-1 on the season and remain in fifth place in the USL Western Conference, though that could change depending on the result of today's Colorado Springs Switchbacks game.
The Republic return home on Saturday, April 23rd to take on Saint Louis FC.
Lineup and Final Stats
Republic Starting XI: Dominik Jakubek; Emrah Klimenta, Derek Foran, Chris Christian, James Kiffe; Danny Barrera, Alfanso Motagalvan (Out 88), JJ Koval, Agustin Cazarez (Out 45); Cameron Iwasa (Out 88), Thomas Stewart (Out 45)
Republic Subs: Tommy Thompson, Adam Jahn (In 45), Octavio Guzman, Mackenzie Pridham (In 88)
Final Republic Stats: 12 Shots, 4 Shots on Goal, 0 saves, 13 Fouls, 9 Corner Kicks, 5 Offside.