Tonight Sacramento Republic FC took on the Seattle Sounders 2 in a match that meant a lot more to the Republic than it did the all but mathematically eliminated road side. This was also the #5YearsofGlory celebration night which added to the festive atmosphere. On a perfect late-summer night the fourth-ranked Republic began the match against the sixteenth-ranked Seattle side with the following Starting XI.
From the first whistle, the Republic established themselves as the aggressor and save for a few lapses here and there they maintained this position throughout the match.
Scoring opened in the match in the 20th minute with horrific defense by the Sounders 2 leading to a Villyan Bijev steal and poke forward finished by Cameron Iwasa for his thirteenth goal of the season. Honestly the Sounders defense spent most of the match on their heels and truthfully looked a bit over-matched. The table position of each squad was definitely reflective of the play in this match.
A scary moment in the 30th minute saw Adam Moffat collide with a Sounders 2 player sending the ball towering into the sky. Moffat was probably guilty of going in less that 100 percent, and unfortunately, took the brunt of the damage as he had to leave the field via stretcher. Early reports are it is an inside portion of the knee injury. Hopefully he has nothing major and will be seen on the field soon as he is a vital cog to the Republic’s success.
Christian Eissele would come on in replacement and ironically would play a large role in the outcome of this game. A shot in extra time by David Olson off a set of clever passes was as close as the Sounders 2 would get to evening the score. Josh Cohen however was brick wall throughout the match.
The halftime coverage centering around the Miracle at Bonney must have rallied the squad as the Republic opened the second half with a significant amount of forward-pressing energy. Bijev’s attempt in the 51th minute was driven low but ended safely corralled. Bijev continued his assault in the 57th minute with a curling shot that very nearly scored across the face of goal.
Eissele would double the Republic’s advantage in the 58th minute. Bijev got around the edge of the Sounders 2 defense with a blistering run and found a wide-open Eissele who merely tapped in perfectly delivered pass.
Continuing the impressive attack, Cameron Iwasa surprisingly misses a point blank wide-open chance on goal in the 61st minute on a beautiful layoff pass by Wilson Kneeshaw. The game officially was put out of reach when Tony Alfaro drew a red card for a clear foul in the box and early sub Eissele buried the ensuing PK to push the advantage to 3-0 Republic.
The 76th minute saw Emrah Klimenta uncharacteristically make a poor challenge in the box allowing a PK to be attempted while concurrently receiving a yellow card and becoming temporarily injured for his actions. Josh Cohen however made an absolutely jaw-dropping save on the PK with his hand just driving it over the bar.
With the game well in hand already in the 90th minute, Elliot Hord just missed goal on a bending attempt that seemed to track the back post. The final whistle would blow shortly thereafter, and with it, a very impressive showing for the Republic both offensively and defensively.
The Republic move to 14-7-7 and stay in third place in the Western Conference table, but gain ground on the three leaders. Sounders 2 fall to 5-17-5 and stay mired in sixteenth place.
Sacramento looks to continue its winning ways when they visit the last-place Tulsa Roughnecks September 19 in a match the Republic will be hoping to convert to vital points.
Sacramento Republic FC: 3 goals, 11 shots, 7 shots on goal, 1 yellow cards, 11 fouls, 6 corners, 3 offsides.
Seattle Sounders 2: 0 goals, 5 shots, 4 shots on goal, 2 yellow card (1 red card), 19 fouls, 2 corners, 0 offsides.