Sacramento Republic FC marked their return to USL league play with a dramatic, physical, and ultimately lackluster draw against rivals LA Galaxy II. Goals from the Danny Barrera and Daniel Trickett-Smith cancelled out a pair of goals from LA's Villarreal brothers.
The match began fairly quiet, with little happening in the final third from either team in the first few minutes.
As the half wore on both teams were able to get some shots away, though most were low-percentage shots that missed of the target. LA was the team that seemed to be on the front foot for much of the half, but they were unable to create anything that threatened Republic goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek much.
Overall, the first 45 minutes were a bit of a bore. Most of the play happened in the middle third of the field and what did happen in the final third was rarely threatening. It was no surprise to anyone present that the teams went into the locker rooms scoreless.
The Story at Halftime
Sacramento Republic FC: 0 goals, 0 assists, 5 fouls, 1 corner, 1 offside, 1 save, 5 shots, 0 shots on goal
LA Galaxy II: 0 goals, 0 assists, 6 fouls, 4 corner, 2 offside, 0 save, 7 shots, 1 shots on goal
While the first 45 minutes were mostly boring with little happening in the final third, the second half brought the excitement with four goals.
The Republic opened up the scoring early on in the second half with a goal from a wide open Danny Barrera in the 51st minute.
Emrah Klimenta received the ball in a good position thanks to a poor clearance from Los Dos of an earlier chance by Harry Williams and Octavio Guzman. Barrera worked his way into space in the middle of the box and got his head on the end of a good cross from Emrah Klimenta. The goal was Barrera's first since in 15 matches, with his last one coming against Tulsa Roughnecks on August 29 of last year.
The visitors did not waste much time in responding to Barrera's goal, notching an equalizer in the 57th minute with some good play from the Villarreal brothers. Jose Villarreal provided the cross and his brother Jaime provided the goal.
Jose added a goal of his own just one minute later to give the visitors the lead, capitalizing on yet another in a string of costly defensive errors from the Republic back line.
In a near exact replay of a goal conceded in Portland in April, Derek Foran took too much time on the ball in the face of pressure, which led to him losing the ball and giving an easy chance for Villarreal.
As has happened ever time that the Republic have found themselves down a goal, the team pushed forward desperately searching for an equalizer.
New signing Daniel Trickett-Smith found that equalizer and saved a point for the Republic in the 81st minute in dramatic fashion.
The much-hyped former Liverpool U-21 player had previously scored in a friendly against his former club, but Saturday's goal was his first competitive tally as a Quail.
Trickett-Smith did not stay on the field particularly long to enjoy his goal, however, as he received two yellow cards in quick fashion and was ejected from the match.
DTS's ejection was just one part of yet another chippy Republic-Los Dos game. The match finished with an astounding total of 30 total fouls, 8 yellow cards (including the two handed to DTS), and one red card. The numbers from each of the teams are fairly even as well. Galaxy II were called for 14 fouls and received 4 yellow cards, while the Republic were called for 16 fouls, received 4 yellow cards and a red card.
After a final push from a depleted Republic, the referee blew the final whistle to a chorus of boos, ending the game at 2-2 and giving the Republic a draw.
Republic Starting XI and Stats
Sacramento Republic FC Starting XI: Dominik Jakubek; James Kiffe, Derek Foran, Chris Christian, Emrah Klimenta; Octavio Guzman, Agustin Cazarez, Danny Barrera, Tommy Thompson; Cameron Iwasa, Harry Williams.
Sacramento Republic FC: 2 goals, 2 assists, 16 fouls, 5 corner, 1 offside, 1 save, 14 shots, 3 shots on goal
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