Sacramento Republic FC returned from their bye week Saturday night in what was without question, a critical point in the 2018 season. A win would mean gaining momentum heading into the final stretch of the season, while a loss or tie would set Republic FC back in what is shaping up to be a highly competitive Western Conference.
Republic FC Manager Simon Elliott would roll out the following starting XI:
Republic FC would control the first half and had solid chances in the 17th minute from Jure Matjasic, the 18th minute from Villyan Bijev (whose shot hit the cross bar) and again Matjasic in the 31st minute that took a great save from Fresno keeper Kyle Reynish to keep the home side off the board.
The Republic would finally break through in the 76th minute when Shannon Gomez played the ball forward to Bijev, who cleverly dribbled around a few defenders, and hit an absolute banger that beat Reynish (and probably surprised him) to give the boys in red a 1-0 advantage. It was Bijev’s fourth goal of the season. Credit the assist to Gomez.
The Republic continued to press and look for chances to extend their lead, but the match would end shortly thereafter, and Republic FC would come away with three points.
With the 1-0 victory, Republic FC move to 11-5-7 (40 points) and solidly into third place, while Fresno FC moves to 7-8-9 (30 points) and in 10th place. Republic also take the season series from Fresno two games to one.
Sacramento returns to the pitch next Saturday, August 11 at 8pm when the host Rio Grande Valley FC. Republic last faced Rio Grande Valley back on March 31 in what was a 2-2 tie. The Quails will be looking to take the season series.
Final Stats and Lineup
Sacramento Republic FC: 1 goal, 15 shots, 4 shots on target, 57.9 possession, 8 corners, 0 offsides, 1 yellow card.
Fresno FC: 0 goals, 13 shots, 4 shots on target, 42.1 possession, 2 corners, 2 offsides, 3 yellow cards.
Republic FC lineup: Josh Cohen; Elliot Hord, Mitchell Taintor, Justin Schmidt, Shannon Gomez; Villyan Bijeva, Jeremy Hall, Jamie Villarreal, Jure Matjasic; Christian Eissele, Cameron Iwasa.
Republic FC bench: Thomas Olsen, Wilson Kneeshaw , Keven Aleman, Cole Seiler, Adam Mofatt, Luis Espino and Roberto Hategan.