Sacramento Republic FC traveled east to Colorado Springs to face off against the Switchbacks on Saturday. Either a win or draw would have clinched Republic a spot in the playoffs, but the team was unable to make it happen. Instead, they walked away with a 1-0 loss, their second defeat in a row.
The first fifteen minutes of the match went by with some high energy play from both teams that was spent mostly in the middle third of the field and in Republic’s defensive half.
Paul Buckle was forced to make his first substitution of the night in the 15th minute, replacing an apparently injured Agustin Cazarez with Wilson Kneeshaw.
Neither team was able to create a particularly dangerous opportunity for much of the opening half hour.
Jeremy Hall received the game’s first yellow card in the 32nd minute for a professional foul at midfield.
The Switchbacks delighted the home crowd with a goal in the 36th minute from Kevaughn Frater.
When the cross came in from the left wing, Frater was wide open in the box. Despite Jeremy Hall closing and putting him under pressure, the forward was able to make a good strike and score.
Rony Argueta of the Switchbacks received the second yellow card of the match in the 40th minute for a foul on James Kiffe.
Republic had an exciting chance late in the half when Hall blocked a Switchbacks goal kick. However, Hall was called for a foul when chasing down the loose ball that resulted and the chance was wasted.
The second half continued in a relatively similar way to the first, with the home side attacking and Republic trying to make something happen.
Buckle made his second injury-related substitution of the match in the 52nd minute, bringing on Elliott Hord for Carlos Rodriguez.
Peter McGlynn received a yellow card in the 54th minute for a harsh foul near the sideline.
Buckle made his third and final substitution of the match in the 59th minute, bringing on Christian Chaney for Gabe Gissie.
Interestingly, Sammy Ochoa received a yellow card in the 81st minute despite being on the bench.
Republic had a late chance at an equalizer in second half stoppage time with a corner kick, but the Switchbacks goalkeeper came up huge to save the clean sheet.
That corner proved to be Republic’s last and best chance for an equalizer, as just a few minutes later the final whistle blew and the match finished with Colorado Springs up 1-0.
Republic are now on a two match losing streak and have only a single game left in the regular season: next weekend’s away match against Reno 1868 FC.