Sacramento Republic FC’s slump continues, as they came up against a win-hungry Real Monarchs on Wednesday in Zion’s Bank Stadium, and lost 2-0.
Milan Iloski’s first-half brace gave Real Monarchs their first win of the season, and Republic FC failed to put a shot on target all night, despite the MLS2 side leaving the door open in the second half.
Mark Briggs continued to rotate his lineup, with Nabi Kibunguchy getting his first start after a couple impressive substitute shifts and youngster Rafael Jauregui getting his first start of the season for Sac Republic.
Sacramento GK Tomas Gomez was tested in the first two minutes, with Iloski hitting a speculative shot from outside the box and the netminder needing to make a stop.
But Real Monarchs continued to control the run of play, and Iloski found the opening goal in the 22nd minute, beating Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu outside the box by dropping his shoulder and burying the angled shot.
Pete Pennanen had a surprise chance around the half-hour mark, the midfielder dribbling upfield and taking a shot that knuckled on the turf and clanged off the woodwork.
But Real Monarchs got the next goal, with Maikel Chang dribbling in the box and feeding Iloski, who deftly finished in the 41st minute to get his second goal of the night.
So the teams went into halftime with Sacramento down a two-goal hole. Republic FC had a big edge in possession but failed to register a shot on target, while Real Monarchs were more clinical with their looks.
Shortly after the restart, Mitchell Taintor was fouled and he hit the deck, with the teams breaking out in a scuffle as a result of the play. Real Monarchs’ Douglas Martinez got a yellow card, but tempers cooled as the teams continued play.
Sac Republic got a lifeline in the 58th minute, with the goalkeeper handling a backpass, so the visitors got an indirect free kick at the edge of the six-yard box. Dariusz Formella hit the smash off Cameron Iwasa’s tap, but the entire Real Monarchs team was standing on the goal line and they blocked his shot.
Iwasa had entered the game a minute before that, for Pennanen, and Jordan McCrary joined the fray in the 63rd in Kibunguchy’s place.
Wheeler-Omiunu suffered a rough challenge and looked injured a few minutes later. He appeared to roll his ankle on the tackle, and needed medical attention, but he was able to continue in the game.
Julian Chavez came off the bench in the 74th minute for Jauregui, and Mario Penagos entered for Jaime Villarreal at the same time.
Sacramento pushed in the final 15 minutes, with the wind whipping around Real Monarchs’ end, there was some possibility for further uncertainty for Real Monarchs’ defense. But there was no breakthrough to be had and Republic FC’s attack was quite toothless overall in this game.
I don’t think Gomez was at fault on either goal, but every line among the outfield players struggled in this game. They had an opponent who feature talent, but were down on their luck themselves and far less experienced than Sac Republic. Honestly, nothing is clicking for Republic FC as the team is struggling, and they’re now five games winless. There’s still a lot of season to be played, but SRFC are digging themselves quite the hole early on, and the performances getting worse is certainly a growing concern.
Sac Republic get a break after this game, and won’t be back in action again until June 19 when they take on Oakland Roots for the Bay Area team’s home opener. Honestly, they could use some time to regroup and hopefully come back stronger.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.