Playing their second straight match away from the friendly confines of Papa Murphy’s Park, Sacramento Republic FC looked to stay unbeaten against Rio Grande Valley Toros FC. Down two goals late, the Republic managed to put in two late to grab a point on the road.
It was a essentially the same starting XI that manager Simon Elliott had gone with for the first two matches, with the exception that Adam Moffat replaced Jeremy Hall and Luis Espino replaced Christian Eissele in the starting lineup:
In the 32nd minute, Rio Grande Valley’s Todd Wharton had the best chance of the first half when he got loose and hit a rocket that smacked the top of the crossbar. Fortunately for the Republic, they were able to clear the ball and avoid a second-chance put back by the Toros.
32" - Todd Wharton takes a shot but hits the crossbar.— RGVFC (@RGVFC) April 1, 2018
0-0 #RGVvSAC#WeAreToros #SomosToros pic.twitter.com/1EDPIqbGRC
In the 51st minute, the Toros were awarded a penalty kick after Aldo Quintanilla went down (softly) in the box. Wharton would step up and convert to give the Toros an 0-1 advantage.
In the 76th minute, Villyan Bijev was taken down in the box, and again, the referee signaled for a penalty kick. Unfortunately, Bijev was unable to convert keeping the game 0-1.
Minutes later in the 79th minute, Jorginho James would extend the Toros lead on a very nice goal from the top of the box.
Just when it looked like the Republic were about to drop their first match of the season, things got interesting.
First it was Cameron Iwasa pulling one back in the 80th minute on a beautifully executed header:
.@cam31iwasa scores and pulls Republic FC one goal away from equalizing.— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) April 1, 2018
Five minutes left to hunt down the equalizer #RGVvSAC pic.twitter.com/F6lncO5xcf
Then in stoppage time, the Quails would equalize on an own goal by the Toros’ Conor Donovan. Minutes later, the final whistle was blown, and Sacramento and Rio Grande Valley would play to a 2-2 tie.
Republic (2-1-0) return home next Saturday (April 7) when they face Seattle Sounders 2 (1-2-0). Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm where they will look to remain unbeaten.