Sacramento Republic FC traveled east Sunday to face OKC Energy FC in a battle between two teams fighting for the playoffs and positioning. With only six matches remaining, it goes without saying that every match (and every point) is critical from here on out.
Republic FC Manager Simon Elliott fielded the following starting XI. Of note, Cameron Iwasa was out of the lineup with a left ankle injury. In his place, Stefano Bonomo got the nod:
Our @jiffylubesac starting XI vs @EnergyFC. ⚽️#LetsGo | #OKCvSAC pic.twitter.com/Y0cAs2ulqV— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) September 22, 2019
The first half of play was relatively uneventful for both teams. The best opportunity for the Quails came in the 20th minute when Jordan McCrary hit a long ball that Villyan Bijev was able to control. He quickly crossed it left and the ball ricocheted off an Energy FC defender to Thomas Enevoldsen whose header was cleared away by goalkeeper Cody Laurendi. Credit Laurendi for making a great play and keeping the match level.
20' | CHANCE! Laurendi again denies the Indomitable Club. #LetsGo | #OKCvSAC pic.twitter.com/pCnVEkKALP— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) September 22, 2019
The second half was much of the same. As the match wore on, it seemed both sides were content with a point, which was a bit puzzling given what was at stake. But that’s exactly how the match would end — in a 0-0 draw.
I think fans can live with a point on the road, but the game lacked cohesion and passion that you would expect (or at least hope for) this late in the season, and that will likely frustrate the Republic faithful. There were no real takeaways, but I guess if you are looking for a bright spot, they did at least get a point.
With the draw, Sacramento moves to 13-11-5 (44 points) and remain in fifth place, while Oklahoma moves to 9-10-11 (38 points) and into thirteenth place. Energy FC is among a handful of teams that are just one point out of the playoffs.
The Republic return home next Saturday, September 28 when they face El Paso Locomotive FC. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 7:30pm.
Sacramento Republic FC: 0 goals, 21 shots, 7 shots on target, 57.0 possession, 10 corners, 1 offsides, 1 yellow card.
OKC Energy FC: 0 goals, 6 shots, 2 shots on target, 43.0 possession, 3 corners, 1 offsides, 1 yellow card.
Republic FC Lineup: Bobby Shuttleworth, Matt Mahoney, Haris Chantzopoulos, Keven Aleman, Drew Skundrich, Juan Barahona, Villyan Bijev, Thomas Enevoldsen, Jaime Villarreal, Stefan Bonomo and Jordan McCrary.
Republic FC Bench: Rafael Diaz, Mitchell Taintor, Hayden Partain, Sam Werner, Ray Saari, Mario Pengos and Hayden Sargis.