Sacramento Republic FC extended their best start in team history with a 1-0 win over Arizona United SC on Saturday in front of a record setting sellout crowd of 11,569 fans. With the win, the Republic are now 2-0 for the season and tied for second place in the Western Conference.
Sacramento started the match off on the front foot straight away, retaining most of the possession and attacking the United goal. The first real chance of the game came in the 14th minute when a Danny Barrera shot hit off the top of the crossbar and went out for a goal. Emrah Klimenta also had a good chance in the 20th minute, but his shot from inside the 18 went well wide and out for a goal kick.
The big chance of the first half came from a 35th minute corner kick when Mark Sherrod seemed to have given Sacramento the lead after heading in Barrera's service. Unfortunately for the home team, though, the goal was disallowed due to a foul in the box by a Republic player. The player who likely got the call was Emrah Klimenta, who may have been called for obstruction on United goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski.
Republic Coach Paul Buckle was less than pleased with the call after the match, saying "I don't see any foul on the goal. I think it's a perfectly good goal."
Buckle had reason to be frustrated again in the second half when Emrah Klimenta's goal was called back for being offside. Where there could be an argument made for the first diasllowed goal, the offside call on Klimenta looked incorrect to me.
Buckle was of the same opinion, saying after the match "when I see Emrah Klimenta ... clean in, miles onside, be dragged back and a goal being taken away from Sacramento and him, that's disappointing because it wasn't even close."
Buckle made a number of substitutions in the second half looking for the opening goal, four in total. None made as important a contribution to the team's victory as late substitute Cameron Iwasa. The Sacramento native sent Bonney Field into a frenzy when he scored the game winner in the 84th minute, just 4 minutes after stepping on the field.
Describing the goal after the match, Iwasa said "The defender was late to step so I cut him on the inside. Then I just picked a spot, hit it low, hit it hard. It skipped a little bit on the wet surface and saw the back of the net."
"I was buzzing to get on the field," Iwasa added. "As a sub you just want to come on and make something happen and fortunately I was able to do so."
The win over United builds on the momentum the team build with their season opening win over Seattle Sounders 2. Momentum that they will take with them when they travel to the Great White North to face Vancouver Whitecaps 2 at UBC Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday, April 10. Kickoff is at 3:00pm.
Lineup and Final Stats:
Republic starting XI: Dominik Jakubek; James Kiffe, Derek Foran, Chris Christian, Emrah Klimenta; Chase Minter (out 63), JJ Koval, Agustin Cazarez (out 63), Danny Barrera; Thomas Stewart (out 80), Mark Sherrod (out 69).
Republic subs: Evan Newton, Mike da Fonte, Mackenzie Pridham, Octavio Guzman (in 63), Max Alvarez (in 63), Alfonso Motagalvan (in 69), Cameron Iwasa (in 80).
Final Stats for Arizona United: 2 Shots, 0 Shots on Goal, 1 Saves, 14 Fouls, 0 Corner Kicks, 2 Offside.
Final Stats for Sacramento Republic: 13 Shots, 2 Shots on Goal, 0 Saves, 13 Fouls, 10 Corner Kicks, 5 Offside.