Sacramento Republic FC hosted New Mexico United in a fairly critical match for the Quails who fly perilously above the playoff line. Warm, clear skies and the bright neon of the California State Fair provided a nice setting at Papa Murphy’s Park.
Not so nice was the quick goal the Republic gave up to the visitors. After just 10 minutes, New Mexico found themselves 3 v 3 in attack after a casual set of passes in midfield that all too easily broke through the Republic’s lines. Chris Wehan received the pass 20 yards from goal and simply drove into the box unimpeded to take a clean shot past Rafael Diaz.
The next 35 minutes were forgettable at best for Republic fans. The home side was able to assert some control but few chances came in the half.
The second half saw Stefano Bonomo come on for Drew Skundrich. The Quails once again established some control, but created few chances. Something unfortunately familiar to many Republic fans.
Then in the 75th minute another familiar sight graced the field — that of Sam Werner cutting inside from the right and curling a beautiful shot into the back of the net. It is the rookie’s fifth goal of the season (second most on the team).
Familiarity was the theme tonight as heartbreak saw Republic give up another last minute goal. In the 88th minute, substitute Daniel Bruce put in a possible goal of the week off a 30 yard, outside-of-the-boot rocket that blasted past a helpless Diaz.
Republic couldn’t muster a second equalizer in added time and fell at home 1-2. This is their second 1-2 loss in a row and fourth in the last five league matches. Tough times in the Quail’s nest. They fly south to face Orange County in three days.
What can they muster up as they fight to stay above the playoff drop zone?