Sacramento Republic FC (4-0-3) equalized late against the visiting Tulsa Roughnecks FC (0-3-3) 1-1 in what was a mostly sloppy, time-wasting affair at Papa Murphy’s Park. With the late goal by Republic FC, Tulsa still remains winless in all six meetings against the Republic.
Republic FC Manager Simon Elliott would roll out a slightly different starting XI, most notably, the debut of Jure Matjašič at forward.
Roughnecks FC would open up the scoring in the 2nd minute when Paris Gee sent a nice ball in the box, and former Republic midfielder Joaquin Rivas calmly headed it in to give the visitors a quick lead. It was hard to see from my vantage on the north end, but Republic FC looked to be a little lazy in their defense.
After Roughnecks FC would get their goal, they would spend the remainder of the first half wasting time with injuries, which was clearly a tactic to do whatever necessary to hold their goal advantage. Of course, this is just my opinion, but there was no less than seven Roughnecks players rolling around on the pitch (three by keeper Fabian Cerda). Seven minutes of stoppage in the first half? Shameful.
The second half started slowly for Republic FC. They really struggled to get anything going. In the 63rd minute, Elliott would pull Christian Eissele in favor of Cameron Iwasa hoping he could generate some attack for the Quails. Minutes later, Wilson Kneeshaw would sub in for Jamie Villarreal to dial up the pressure.
But it was Luis Espino substituting in the 80th minute for Carlos Rodriguez that would be the difference. In the 88th minute, Villyan Bejiv delivered a beautiful through ball to Espino who hit a left-footed shot that hit the back of the net to tie the score 1-1.
The whistle would blow shortly thereafter and the Republic escaped with a point to remain unbeaten.
Republic FC heads out on the road to play Portland Timbers 2 (3-3-1) on May 2. Game time is 7pm.
Sacramento Republic FC: 1 goal, 14 shots, 5 shots on target, 7 corner kicks, 15 fouls, 2 yellow cards
Tulsa Roughnecks: 1 goal, 9 shots, 5 shots on target, 1 corner kicks, 16 fouls, 2 yellow cards