This weekend matchup saw another high scoring affair, as the two sides swung back and forth. Both sides had the lead at one point, but it was Rodrigo Lopez that snatched a 3-3 draw for Sacramento Republic Sunday against Tacoma Defiance. The last time these two clubs met, it was a 3-1 victory in favor of the Republic, featuring a brace from Dariusz Formella.
Sacramento Republic came into the match looking to continue their eight game unbeaten run, and make a charge towards the top spot of Group A, the club looking to win out and keep their top seed hopes afloat. Last time out, the club came away with only 1 point in a 3-3 draw against group leaders, Reno.
Officially eliminated from playoff contention, and riding a six game losing streak, Tacoma’s only aim now was to play spoiler for the Republic. Their 3-2 loss to Reno midweek was the result that confirmed the playoff fates of the Group A sides.
Tacoma came into the match fielding this lineup:
Coach Briggs had the following lineup for the clash. Note Juan Barahona’s return to the eighteen. Also, we saw Brady Scott making his debut between the sticks for the club.
Our @ArdenFair starting XI vs @TACdefiance.— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) September 21, 2020
This marks @JuanBarahona96's return and first appearance since notching the club's first assist of the season in the home opener back in March. #SACvTAC | @UCDavisHealth pic.twitter.com/A0KmB5nkiZ
The match started with the Republic on the ball.
The trend of early goals came back again to haunt the Republic in the 3rd minute. A mistake in the midfield led to Chino Perez breaking into the box and putting it in the back of the net.
An early yellow was issued to Sota Kitahara in the 14th minute for a late shove on Villyan Bijev, as he looked to break into a counterattack.
Republic nearly equalized in the 30th. An over the top ball played to Bijev results in a goal in the back of the net. However, a close offside call overrided the goal.
The best chance for the Republic came in first half extra time. A Barajona cross got to Drew Skundrich who, if there wasn’t a Tacoma defender in front of him, would’ve scored a goal. The first yellow for the Republic also came during this period for Dekel Keinan, for a shove on Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez.
Going into the half, Republic held the majority of the possession, but had nothing to show for it. It was the Tacoma counterattack that separated the two sides. The visitors seemed content to sit back and defend, looking to capitalize on the Republic mistakes (see the first goal). The Republic needed to clean up passing in the midfield, since most of the Tacoma attacks came out of a Republic turnover.
Sacramento equalized early into the second half, in the 48th. A great ball from Hayden Sargis got to Sam Werner down the left. He put in a low cross across the face of goal that got to Bijev, who placed it past the keeper.
A penalty opportunity presented itself in the 59th. Corner kick served in by Bijev gets to Skundrich’s head. The ball bounces off Perez’s arm and is called. The resulting penalty kick was taken by Kharlton Belmar who sent the keeper the wrong way and put the shot in. Belmar got his first goal with the club.
Tacoma leveled the match in the 66th. The first opportunity came off of a Tacoma counter, with Hayden Sargis getting a head on it. However, on the corner opportunity, the ball bounced around the box and Alec Diaz put it home from point blank range.
The first sub came in the form of Rodrigo Lopez, coming in for Bijev in the 69th. This pushed Jaime Villarreal up towards the attack with Roro playing behind him.
The Republic nearly took the lead again in the 73rd. Low cross from Belmar reached Villarreal who played in Dariusz Formella. His shot hits the bar and bounced back out.
During the Republic’s second substitution period, at the 74th, Tomas Hilliard-Arce came in for Werner and Frankie Lopez came in for Skundrich. Moving the formation to a modified 3-5-2.
The club’s final subs, in the 84th, saw Rafael Jauregui come in for Formella and Shannon Gomez swap for Jordan McCrary.
It was another giveaway in the midfield that gave Tacoma the lead, in the 85th. A quick opportunity saw Ray Serrano played in down the right and slotted in far post.
And then channeling miracles of seasons past, Hilliard-Arce played a ball in to the box that got to Roro. He got the ball and fired a shot to equalize the game in the 90th.
It was a second consecutive 3-3 draw for the Republic. This seems like a missed opportunity to get another 3 points for the Republic. The club didn’t seem like themselves and made mistakes which Tacoma were able to capitalize on. Next up for the club an all-important away match, that most likely will determine the fate of Group A, against Reno.
Sacramento Republic FC: 3 goals, 16 shots, 5 shots on target, 70.6% possession, 6 corners, 4 offsides, 3 yellow cards, 0 red card
Tacoma Defiance: 3 goals, 8 shots, 4 shots on target,29.4%/ possession, 2 corners, 0 offsides, 2 yellow cards, 0 red card
Republic FC Lineup: Brady Scott, Jordan McCrary (OUT, 84’), Hayden Sargis, Dekel Keinan, Juan Barahona, Jaime Villarreal, Drew Skundrich (OUT, 74’), Sam Werner (OUT, 74’), Villyan Bijev (OUT, 69’), Kharlton Belmar, Dariusz Formella (OUT, 84’)
Republic FC Bench: Rafael Diaz, Shannon Gomez (IN, 84’), Tomas Hilliard-Arce (IN, 74’), Frankie Lopez (IN, 74’), Rodrigo Lopez (IN, 69’), Cameron Iwasa, Rafael Jauregui (IN, 84’)
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