On Saturday night, Sacramento Republic FC hosted Phoenix Rising FC in a Western Conference clash between two quality sides.
Sacramento was looking to rebound from a 0-1 road loss at Portland two week ago, while Phoenix was trying to make it two wins in-a-row. The match also marked the return of former Republic FC forward Adam Jahn, who was instrumental in the Republic’s title run in 2014.
Republic FC Manager Simon Elliott fielded the following starting XI on what was a beautiful Sacramento spring evening. Of note, Cameron Iwasa started on the bench. Apparently, Iwasa was still recovering from a minor knock suffered in practice during the week, and Elliott presumably wanted to limit his time. Iwasa would eventually enter the match at the 59th minute.
Phoenix would have the first good chance of the match, when in the 12th minute Solomon Asante played a beautiful cross from the right side that Jose Aguinaga headed towards goal. But he would be denied by Josh Cohen, who made an outstanding save. It was a prelude to another tremendous save from him in the 40th minute.
In the 17th minute, it appeared that Tyler Blackwood scored the first goal for Republic FC after Stefano Bonomo’s shot bounced of Rising FC keeper Zachary Lubin. However, Blackwood was called offsides and his tap in did not count.
Both teams would have good chances over the course of the next 70 minutes, but neither could make the most of their opportunities, and the final whistle would blow in a 0-0 draw. Republic were on the front foot in the half, but were not as sound in the second half.
Josh Cohen, as he has done so many times, kept the Republic in the match with two great saves that ultimately helped secure a point.
With the result, Republic move to 3-2-2 (11 points), while Phoenix moves to 2-1-5 (11 points). A little concerning for the Republic is that they have only mustered two goals over the last four matches. In that span, they have gone 1-2-1, which isn’t terrible, but not great either. They will be looking to secure three points next Saturday when they travel to Las Vegas.
Sacramento Republic FC: 0 goals, 14 shots, 2 shots on target, 53.0 possession, 5 corners, 1 offsides, 2 yellow cards.
Phoenix Rising FC: 0 goals, 15 shots, 3 shots on target, 47.0 possession, 4 corners, 1 offsides, 1 yellow card.
Republic FC Lineup: Josh Cohen, Shannon Gomez, Mitchell Taintor, Sam Werner, Drew Skundrich (OUT, 59’), Tyler Blackwood (OUT, 65’), Dekel Keinan, Jaime Villarreal (OUT, 90’), Ray Saari, Stefano Bonomo, and Jordan McCrary.
Republic FC Bench: Rafael Diaz, Matt Mahoney, Hayden Partain (IN, 90’), Keven Alemen (IN, 65’), Elliott Hord, Cameron Iwasa (IN, 59), and Mario Penagos.