Sacramento Republic FC hosted Rio Grande Valley FC Toros Saturday night at Papa Murphy’s Park. The Republic came into the match on a five-game unbeaten streak and were looking to extend that to six games. Rio Grande Valley on the other hand were looking for their first road win of the 2018 season. The two sides last played on March 31, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Republic Manager Simon Elliott went with a familiar starting XI:
Rio Grande would get on the board in the 1st minute when the Republic fell asleep. Aldo Quintanilla played a nice ball forward to a streaking (and unmarked) Carlos Small who beat the defense and calmly slotted the ball beyond the outstretched arms of Josh Cohen to give the visitors an early 1-0 advantage. It was the Toros fastest goal scored in their history.
The first 25 minutes for the Republic were forgettable and maybe the worst start to a game the Quails have had this season. While you have to credit the Toros for coming out the aggressors and dominating play, I can’t remember the Republic coming out so sluggish.
The Republic had their best chance in the 35th minute, but were unable to capitalize on several chances in front of the Toros goal. The whistle was blown on the first half shortly thereafter.
The second half proved to be much better for the Republic. In the 61st minute, Villyan Bijev played a corner kick short to Elliott Hord, who sent a cross into the box that Cameron Iwasa was able to get on the other end of and head home his 11th goal of the season and 27th with the Republic, which is the most goals in team history.
Minutes later, in the 67th minute, it was Republic Captain Jeremy Hall who would head home a goal on a beautiful assist from substitute Keven Alemán to give the Republic a 2-1 advantage. It was the second goal of the night for the Republic on a set piece. As Republic fans know, set piece goals have been hard to come by this season.
The Republic were able to hold on over the next 20 plus minutes and extend their unbeaten streak to six matches. With the win, Republic FC moves to 12-5-7 (43 points) and into third place in the Western Conference table, while the Toros fall to 3-8-11 (20 points).
Next up for Sacramento is a road match this Wednesday, August 15 at St. Louis FC. That match is scheduled to kickoff at 5:30pm.
Final Stats and Lineup
Sacramento Republic FC: 2 goals, 13 shots, 4 shots on target, 59.0 possession, 6 corners, 0 offsides, 3 yellow cards.
Rio Grande Valley FC Toros: 1 goal, 10 shots, 4 shots on target, 41.0 possession, 6 corners, 1 offsides, 1 yellow cards.
Republic FC lineup: Josh Cohen; Elliot Hord, Mitchell Taintor, Justin Schmidt, Shannon Gomez; Villyan Bijeva, Jeremy Hall, Jamie Villarreal, Jure Matjasic (OUT, 81’); Luis Espino (OUT, 57’), Cameron Iwasa.
Republic FC bench: Thomas Olsen, Cole Seiler, Adam Mofatt, Wilson Kneeshaw, Christian Eissele (IN, 81’), Roberto Hategan, Keven Alemán (IN, 57’).