Second-half defensive difficulties squandered a first-half lead for Republic FC against Reno 1868 FC Saturday evening. Despite an attacking bonanza in the first half that saw the Republic get out to a 3-0 lead, the match ended as a 3-3 draw due in large part to the efforts of former Republic forward Mackenzie Pridham.
Republic struck first with a 17th minute goal from Trevin Caesar after a good bit of combination play from Tyler Blackwood and Sammy Ochoa.
17’ GOOOOOAL!!— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) March 12, 2017
Blackwood with a good give & go with Ochoa. Blackwood beats his defenders, puts in a great cross for Caesar who slots it in
Unfortunately, only the fans that made the trip to Reno were able to see the goal, since Reno were having difficulties getting the stream up and running.
Republic doubled their lead shortly after in the 20th minute, when Tyler Blackwood was rewarded for his pressure on the Reno back four with a goal.
20’ GOOOOOAL!!!!— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) March 12, 2017
Blackwood steals a great ball right outside the 18 and puts it straight past Bersano.
Republic FC 2, @reno1868fc 0
Once again, however, those fans who did not make the trip to Reno were left to try to imagine how the goal looked.
Republic were handed another scoring chance by Reno in the 25th minute when Trevin Caesar was taken down in the penalty area. Sammy Ochoa, seemingly the team’s designated penalty taker, stepped up to the spot and calmly extended the Republic’s lead to three goals.
27’ Ochoa steps up to the spot…— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) March 12, 2017
GOOOOOALL!!!! Ochoa calmly slots it past Bersano who dives incorrectly to the right.
SRFC 3, @reno1868fc 0
However, Republic fans not in attendance were once again unable to see the goal live.
Reno finally got the stream up and running around the 35th minute mark, just in time to see Republic trialist Julius James foul Mackenzie Pridham near the edge of the penalty area.
The home team scored their first goal of the contest in the 41st minute thanks to good positioning from Pridham and a miscommunication in the Republic defense.
As Reno’s Dane Kelly entered the right side of the penalty area, Evan Newton came off his line to make it harder for the renowned goal scorer to get a good angle for a shot. However, as Newton came off his line, Republic trialist Alex Davey went to take his place in the goalmouth, leaving Pridham wide open for a simple tap in.
That defensive breakdown was the last noteworthy moment of the first half, and the Republic teams went into the locker rooms with a still fairly robust lead.
There were no substitutions at the half for either team.
The second half started off fairly evenly, with neither team putting together a particularly threatening move.
Reno Head Coach Ian Russell went to his bench first, bringing on former Republic midfielder Matt LaGrassa for San Jose Earthquakes loanee Matheus Silva in the 55th minute.
Paul Buckle went to his bench soon after, bringing on Daniel Trickett-Smith and Wilson Kneeshaw on for Adam Moffat and Trevin Caesar in the 59th minute.
Dane Kelly gave the home team got its second goal of the match in the 67th minute, pouncing on a rebounded Mackenzie Pridham shot.
Similarly to Reno’s first goal, the Republic defense did not do itself any favors on Kelly’s strike. Mackenzie Pridham was closed down well as he entered the penalty area and Newton did well to block his shot, but right back Elliott Hord was ball watching and failed to stay with Kelly.
Paul Buckle made another substitution after the goal, bringing on Harry Williams for Sammy Ochoa.
Kelly’s goal shifted the momentum in favor of the home team, and the Republic spent much of the rest of the second-half fending off attack after attack.
Paul Buckle went to his bench again in the 78th minute, bringing on Agustin Cazarez for Danny Barrera. Christian Cheney was brought in for Tyler Blackwood in the 84th minute.
Reno got the equalizer they had been searching for in the 84th minute thanks to another goal from Mackenzie Pridham. Matt Lagrassa sent in a long ball into the Republic’s penalty area, which was chested in Pridham’s direction by Brian Brown. Republic’s Alex Davey tried to head the ball away, but it looped over him and came right to Pridham, who fired a strong shot past Evan Newton.
The late goal capped off an impressive night for Pridham, as he notched a brace against his former team to snatch Reno a draw from the jaws of defeat.
The late goal echoed last Saturday’s draw against FC Cincinnati, where the Republic also conceded a late goal.
Republic’s next match comes next Saturday, March 18th, against the NASL’s San Francisco Deltas at Kezar Stadium.
What are your thoughts on tonight’s game? Sound off in the comments below!