Sacramento traveled to Albuquerque Saturday night to face off against newcomers New Mexico United in the first match in history between the two sides. The Republic were looking to build of a two-game winning streak across all competitions, while New Mexico was looking to extend their lead on top of the Western Conference table.
Republic FC Manager Simon Elliott fielded the following starting XI. Of note, Matt Mahoney got a start with Mitchell Taintor sidelined with an injury.
Sacramento would strike first in the 32nd minute after a foul was called in the box on New Mexico defender (and former Republic defender) Justin Schmidt. Cameron Iwasa stepped to take the penalty, which easily beat goalkeeper Cody Mizell to give the Quails a 1-0 lead. It was Iwasa’s team-leading sixth goal on the season.
Defender Matt Mahoney extended the Republic’s lead in the 77th minute on a beautiful set up from midfielder Ray Saari. Saari sent a looping ball in to the far post that Mahoney firmly heading in. The goal was Mahoney’s first goal of the season and first as a member of the Republic. It was Saari’s third assist.
Iwasa would get his brace in the 90th minute (and second of the season) on an assist from Drew Skundrich, which was the finishing touch on an impressive 3-0 road victory. The Republic throughly dominated New Mexico in handing them their first home loss and second only loss on the season.
With the win, the Republic move to 6-5-2 (20 points) and into seventh place, while New Mexico moves to 6-2-7 (25 points) and still on top of the Western Conference table.
The Quails now turn their attention to Tuesday when they will travel to San Jose to face the Earthquakes in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Avaya Stadium. If the Republic can find a way to win, they will advance to the final round of 16 for the second-consecutive year, which would also match the furthest they have gone in the competition.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.
Sacramento Republic FC: 3 goals, 11 shots, 3 shots on target, 53.1 possession, 3 corners, 1 offsides, 1 yellow cards.
New Mexico United: 0 goals, 8 shots, 3 shots on target, 46.9 possession, 4 corners, 3 offsides, 3 yellow cards.
Republic FC Lineup: Josh Cohen, Shannon Gomez, Matt Mahoney, Haris Chantzopoulos, Sam Werner, Drew Skunrich, Villyan Bijev, Jaime Villarreal, Ray Saari, Jordan McCrary, and Cameron Iwasa.
Republic FC Bench: Rafael Diaz, Hayden Partain, Juan Barahona, Elliott Hord, Stefano Bonomo and Mario Penago.