Tonight the Republic took on Fresno in a another newfangled derby monikered the “Highway 99 Derby.” Coincidentally, the temperature at kickoff was 99 degrees and unfortunately the overall play sure felt like it.
In a quietly important game for both sides, the fourth-ranked Republic and the eleventh ranked Fresno side, Simon Elliot decided the following Starting XI:
Both sides saw very early chances that were of solid build-up, most notably a lightning strike by Fewo of the Foxes that just failed to bend enough to beat Josh Cohen up top. The Arden Archer Wilson Kneeshaw had a nice shimmy and strike in the 5th minute that needed a bit truer aim as it missed near post. He would have a chance to redeem himself in the 24’ as a nice backheel from Jure Matjasic momentarily opened Kneeshaw for a shot. However, the defense settled in just enough time to deflect.
The Republic opened the game’s scoring in the 37’ as Luis Espino patiently collected a rebound off a shot by Matjasic that the keeper deflected and slotted it home on an empty net. The half would end with that margin.
With the win, Republic move to 8-4-3 and into third place while only goal differential keeps them from second place. They also move within three points of the seemingly unflappable Real Monarchs. Fresno falls to 3-7-5 but remain in eleventh place.
Sacramento looks to build a win streak when they travel June 16 to Toyota Field to take on San Antonio FC.
Sacramento Republic FC: 1 goals, 13 shots, 6 shots on goal, 0 yellow cards, 10 fouls, 4 corners, 0 offsides.
Fresno FC: 0 goals, 17 shots, 6 shots on goal, 1 yellow card, 7 fouls, 7 corners, 0 offsides.