Sacramento Republic FC faced off against Las Vegas Lights FC Saturday night at Cashman Field. Both teams were looking for their first win and three points in about a month. Republic were also looking to extend their unbeaten streak against the Lights FC (1-0-1).
Republic FC Manager Simon Elliott would go with the starting XI on the road. Of note, Hayden Partain was inserted into the starting lineup (first start of the season):
Your @jiffylubesac starting XI vs @lvlightsfc #LetsGo | #LVvSAC pic.twitter.com/T2f8fdY3KF— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) May 5, 2019
After what was a bit of a snoozy first half, Sacramento would strike first in the 51st minute when Elliott Hord sent a beautiful cross in the box from the right side that Partain sharply volleyed in at the back post. It was Partain’s first goal of the season and Elliott’s first assist.
Right place. Right time. @hayden_partain gives @SacRepublicFC the lead.#LVvSAC | #BeChampions pic.twitter.com/UJcj1aqfJY— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) May 5, 2019
Following the goal from Partain, the Republic kind of fell apart. Or fell asleep. There is just really no other way to describe it. Lights FC would score three goals in roughly 10 minutes — first in the 67th minute by Irvin Raul Parra, in the 71st minute by Gabe Robinson (rare fumbled ball from Josh Cohen) and then in the 75th minute by Santiago Echavarria.
Three goals would have been enough, but the Lights FC would add one more for good measure on what was a great strike from Junior Sandoval in the 89th minute. Sandoval’s shot was from deep outside that Cohen had no chance to stop.
Second half substitute Tyler Blackwood would pull one back for the Quails in the 90th minute, but it was a little too late as the Republic would fall 2-4.
With the loss, Sacramento falls to 3-3-2 (11 points) on the season, while Las Vegas moves to 3-4-2 (11 points). The Republic’s last win came at home on April 6 in a 1-0 win over Austin Bold FC. Perhaps more concerning for fans, the Republic are just 1-2-2 in their last five and have only scored four goals during that span (0.8 goals per game).
The four goals allowed at Las Vegas was a bit of a surprise for the Republic who ranked among the top of the league in the fewest goals allowed so far this season coming into the match. The fact that they lost is not really the issue — it’s how they lost that’s frustrating and again, concerning.
Republic will need to put this one behind them quickly as they face Fresno FC this Wednesday who are still undefeated (3-0-4). That match is scheduled to kickoff at 7:30pm. A win on Wednesday will go a long way in helping the Quails forget about what transpired Saturday in Las Vegas.
Sacramento Republic FC: 2 goals, 16 shots, 5 shots on target, 49.8 possession, 3 corners, 3 offsides, 0 yellow cards.
Las Vegas Lights FC: 4 goals, 16 shots, 7 shots on target, 50.2 possession, 1 corners, 0 offsides, 0 yellow cards.
Republic FC Lineup: Josh Cohen, Shannon Gomez (OUT, 76’), Mitchell Taintor, Hayden Partain (OUT, 63’), Keven Aleman, Sam Werner, Dekel Keinan, Jaime Villarreal, Ray Saari, Elliott Hord, and Stefano Bonomo (OUT, 78’).
Republic FC Bench: Rafael Diaz, Matt Mahoney, Haris Chantzopoulos (IN, 76’), Drew Skundrich, Tyler Blackwood (IN, 78’), Jordan McCrary, and Cameron Iwasa (IN, 63’).