Sacramento Republic FC traveled south Saturday night to face Los Angeles Galaxy II in a critical match for two sides fighting to make the playoffs in the final stretch of the season. The Galaxy II came in 3-1-1 over their last five including a dominant road win at Austin Bold on August 10, while the Republic came in 2-1-2 over their last five — most recently dropping a road match against the red-hot Phoenix Rising FC 1-2.
Republic FC Manager Simon Elliott fielded the following starting XI:
The Republic controlled much of the first 10 minutes, but in the 15th minute, Jordan McCrary headed away what seemed like a sure goal for the Galaxy II. Mohammed Kamar had dribbled the ball deep into the box on the right side, crossed it back left in front of goal, but Geoffrey Acheampong’s shot was cleared off the line.
Galaxy II would get on the board in the 21st minute on a beautiful give-and-go between Emil Cuello and Kai Koreniuk, with Koreniuk easily slotting the ball home by Republic goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth for a 0-1 lead.
The Republic’s best opportunities came in first half stoppage, but a Cameron Iwasa missed header and Hayden Partain’s free kick from about 20 yards out minutes apart were not enough to pull one back. Overall, it was a relatively uninspiring first half for the Quails outside of those final moments.
The best chance for the Republic in the second half came in the 72nd minute when Villyan Bijev sent in a hard low cross from the right side, but Iwasa just missed it as the ball slid away from danger.
And that was about it. The final 20 minutes played out and the Republic dropped a match they absolutely had to have with a performance that was frankly not good enough. It seemed the Republic were content crossing balls in and hoping for the best and only managed two shots on target.
With the loss, the Quails fall to 10-11-4 (34 points) and into ninth place, while Galaxy II leapfrog the Republic into seventh place (9-8-9) and 36 points. It felt like two teams moving in different directions.
The Republic will try and rebound next Saturday, September 7 when they host last place Tacoma Defiance.
Sacramento Republic FC: 0 goals, 16 shots, 2 shots on target, 56.3 possession, 8 corners, 1 offsides, 3 yellow cards.
LA Galaxy II: 1 goals, 15 shots, 7 shots on target, 43.7 possession, 3 corners, 0 offsides, 4 yellow cards.
Republic FC Lineup: Bobby Shuttleworth, Mitchell Taintor, Hayden Partain, Sam Werner, Juan Barahona, Villyan Bijev, Dekel Keinan, Thomas Enevoldsen, Jaime Villarreal, Jordan McCrary and Cameron Iwasa.
Republic FC Bench: Rafael Diaz, Matt Mahoney, Haris Chantzopoulos, Daris Formella, Drew Skundrich, Keven Aleman and Ray Saari.