Sacramento Republic FC faced off against first place Real Monarchs SLC Tuesday night at beautiful Zions Bank Stadium. Unfortunately, the Republic could not follow up their road win at Phoenix, and dropped the match 0-1. With the loss, Republic FC fall to 6-3-3, while Monarchs SLC move to 9-2-1 in the USL Western Conference table.
Real Monarchs started fast and created several dangerous early chances, demonstrating why they are on top of the Western Conference. In the 10th minute, Maikel Chang had a great chance on goal, but his left-footed curling shot just missed the top left corner. Monarchs SLC would add another great chance moments later that Josh Cohen denied.
In the 17th minute, Republic FC would get their best chance of the half when Adam Moffat collected a deflection 10 yards outside the box and hit an absolute screamer on goal that Monarchs keeper Jake Leeker was able to deflect out of play.
Both sides would have good chances in the first half, although Monarchs would have perhaps the best opportunities. However, despite all the chances, neither side was able to find the back of the net, and the teams would go to the locker room tied 0-0 at the half.
In the 49th minute, Villyan Bijev intercepted a ball just inside midfield, dribbled it into the defensive third, and slammed a shot on goal. Leeker deflected it back forward, and Moffat was there to attempt a rebound shot, but was taken down in the box — earning the penalty.
Leeker would read Moffat and save the penalty kick keeping the match scoreless.
In the 68th minute, Monarchs SLC would finally break through. Chang delivered a beautiful through ball to Chandler Hoffman who calmly tapped it past Cohen to give the Monarchs a 1-0 advantage, and in the process, notching his career 50th goal. Hoffman had just entered the match three minutes prior and made his presence felt.
Despite a couple late chances from the Quails, the single goal would be all the home side would need to remain unbeaten at home.
Republic FC return home to host Orange County SC this Saturday at 8pm where they’ll try and rebound against another top-tier club in the conference.