The rivalry continued Saturday night as Reno 1868 FC made the 132 mile trip to Sacramento hoping to rekindle the success they had last season. Unfortunately for Sacramento, their 2-1-1 losing record against Reno would grow as the cliche saying of “a story of two halves” had never been more relevant. Sacramento would start the match with it’s best offensive effort in the 2018 season and would then allow one of it’s biggest collapses ever in team history.
FIRST HALF SUMMARY
With only two minutes passing, Sacramento started off strong. Cameron Iwasa was able to take advantage of a Reno defender’s poor athleticism (who fell for no apparent reason) by making a run into the box and making a nice pass to Jure Matjasic who would then make a strike to the back of the net for his first career USL goal as a part of Sacramento Republic. Sacramento would take an early lead 1-0.
In the 11th minute, as the Republic’s back four gathered themselves after a Reno run, a suddenly beautiful deep pass from Justin Schmidt was made to Iwasa who quickly split through two Reno defenders. Iwasa would reward Schmidt with a gorgeous chest trap and score an easy goal. Sacramento had not scored a goal in the first 30 minutes of a match all season, now had two. Republic FC continued to dominate early by going up 2-0.
In the 15th minute, Reno was able to make their only threatening run in the first half by making a run up the middle of the field. From the left side of the box, a strike was attempted but Josh Cohen was able to make a wonderful diving save to keep Reno scoreless. This would be Reno’s best opportunity in the first half.
The remaining 30 minutes of the match would consist of a plethora of attacks from Sacramento as opportunities for Iwasa, Hayden Partain, Mitchell Taintor, and Villyan Bijev would all come close to back breaking goals for Reno, but none of them were able to connect. Reno would spend much of it’s time in a flux, navigating their way through the energized defense of Sacramento, and eventually surviving until halftime with the score remaining 2-0.
HT | Republic FC get off to a perfect start with goals from Jure Matjasic and @cam31iwasa to take a 2-0 lead over @Reno1868FC going into the break.— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) May 13, 2018
SAC 2 | RNO 0#SACvRNO | #MoreThanPinkNight pic.twitter.com/bZRC9HfYYY
SECOND HALF SUMMARY
After some time to mull over the dominant performance by Sacramento, Reno was able to make the adjustment of the ages (apparently) by subbing in forward Mohamed Thiaw. The entire second half would be defined by a five minute sequence:
- 56’ Paul Marie would reduce the deficit with his first career goal with a nice move to the top of the box and a great strike across his body to the opposite side of the net and past the outstretched arms of Cohen for a spectacular goal. Sacramento 2, Reno 1.
- 58’ Mo Thiaw received the ball at the top of the box and calmly delivered the ball to Brian Brown in the middle of the box. He would then quickly turn around for a match-tying goal. As quickly as Sacramento built their 2-0 lead, Reno was able to take it away in the second half. Match tied 2-2
- 61’ Thiaw would receive the ball at the top of the box again (similar location as the previous goal), and with no defensive pressure in his face he was able to curve the ball into the right side of the net for a Reno lead. 3-2.
Sacramento would not be able to recover from the 3-0 five minute burst from Reno. As time went on, Sacramento’s urgency would increase and would only lead to more sloppiness which would translate to a more aggressive and energized Reno defense. As many in the USL world know, Sacramento has a knack for last minute game-winners/ties, which would give the crowd a glimpse of hope.
Sadly, Republic FC’s fortunes would end in that department for at least this one match. As the whistle blew, Sacramento and it’s fans would stand stunned after witnessing an unbelievable comeback performance by Reno. A comeback so fast, Usain Bolt would be proud. Reno leaves Sacramento with a 3-2 win.
FT | This one hurts.— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) May 13, 2018
Republic FC fall to Reno 1868 FC after a comeback from the Nevada side sees them score three unanswered goals in the second half. #SACvRNO | #MoreThanPinkNight pic.twitter.com/MFSJmh4ecY
I hate to do this, but I have to give a lot of props to Mohamed Thiaw of Reno 1868. He made an impact as soon as he was subbed in by contributing in all three of Reno’s stunning goals.
Iwasa was a force early on. Within the first 11 minutes, he was able to score a goal and assist on another. His very presence was respected so much by Reno, he was marked by two Reno players for the remainder of the match.
Matjasic was able to score his first goal as a member of Republic FC. He was also able to make Sacramento’s first goal within the first 30 minutes for the entire season.
Sacramento will attempt to bounce back next Saturday, May 19 against 2nd place Phoenix Rising in Arizona.