On a nationally broadcasted stage, the first matchup between Sacramento Republic FC and San Diego Loyal this season saw them share the points. San Diego were the better side on the field, but it was a stoppage time equalizer from Mitchell Taintor that decided the result in a 1-1 game.
Both of these sides came into the contest wanting to improve their position in the Pacific Division. San Diego came into the contest riding a 4 game win streak, with 17 points on 11 games played, and 7 games unbeaten. San Diego had a chance to move from 3rd to 1st in the division, given that other results went their way. Sacramento Republic started the contest with 7 points on 8 games played. Republic were looking to snap a cold streak of 5 of the last 6 games played being losses and 1 game being a draw. This string of matches put the Republic 6th in the division, 5 points behind Los Dos in 4th.
The home San Diego put out this lineup for the match:
Coach Briggs put out this lineup:
There were a couple of changes in the lineup from the Republic’s last match. Tomas Gomez comes on to replace Rafa Diaz, after he was subbed off early in the last match against Phoenix. Jordan McCrary is brought into the backline to replace Shannon Gomez. Nabi Kibunguchy makes another appearance at center back for Hayden Sargis. Luis Felipe and Mario Penagos come in the midfield for Andrew Wheeler-Ominu and a suspended Fatai Alashe. This change hints that Briggs is going for 4 in the back instead of the 3 center backs, plus 2 wing backs, look we’ve been seeing. Tucker Bone also starts in the front line instead of Kharlton Belmar.
Both teams got glancing blows at each other with shots coming in but were off target. The first decent chance came in the 15th from San Diego as a long ball over the top got to Callum Montgomery. Montgomery got a solid header in the box forcing Gomez to make an effort at it. The shot went off the bar and out.
In the 40th minute, perhaps the best chance for the Republic so far came actually from their own half of the field. Dan Casey with a very ambitious shot looked to catch keeper Trey Muse off his line. The chip from beyond the center line almost caught the keeper but he was able to get a hand on it and tip it over for a corner.
The first half ended as it started, with both teams still deadlocked at 0-0. Both sides had spells of possession with chances at goal, but no side is able to establish and dominate the match. Republic absorbed the pressure so far well, but need to make use of the possession they get as best they can. The Republic front line has been mostly quiet, with the best chance coming from Casey. San Diego had the better chances but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Sacramento started the 2nd half.
San Diego opened the scoring in the 61st. Simple cross from the left flank sent in by Miguel Ibarra got to a diving Corey Hertzog who headed it home from point blank range.
San Diego nearly doubled their tally immediately. Sloppy turnover came to Alejandro Guido who left it off for Hertzog who nearly put it in the bottom corner of the Republic net.
Briggs went to the bench for the first time in the 79th minute as he brought on Shannon Gomez and Julian Chavez for Mario Penagos and Tucker Bone. Briggs also brought on Kharlton Belmar in for Duke Lacroix in the 87th minute seeking that equalizing goal.
The final 10 minutes saw the Republic constantly hover around the Loyal box. Chances came in and around but none of them too troubling. Decent chance from Chavez in the 87th as a curved effort from outside the box was stopped by Muse.
Briggs used another substitution window to have Mitchell Taintor come in for Jordan McCrary in stoppage time, putting the defender up top.
And the substitutions bared fruit as Mitchell Taintor equalized the match in stoppage time. The big man got on the end of a cross from Belmar. He won the header and put it away.
Sacramento definitely stole a point from San Diego. The Loyal were definitely the team that looked better on the field. Somehow the substitutions were able to crack the San Diego defense and get a result in the dying moments of the game. Republic will take this result given their recent form, but they are still stalling below the playoff line. Republic stay in the 6th position, now with 8 points on 9 games played. Next time out will be a midweek match at home against Oakland Roots.
Sacramento Republic FC: 1 goal, 13 shots, 5 shots on target, 39.3% possession, 8 corners, 2 offsides, 4 yellow cards, 0 red cards
San Diego Loyal: 1 goal, 10 shots, 3 shots on target, 60.7% possession, 2 corners, 1 offsides, 3 yellow cards, 0 red cards
Republic FC Lineup: Tomas Gomez, Jordan McCrary (OUT, 90+’), Nabi Kibunguchy, Dan Casey, Duke Lacroix (OUT, 87’), Luis Felipe, Mario Penagos (OUT, 79’), Tucker Bone (OUT, 79’), Cameron Iwasa, Petteri Pennanen, Dariusz Formella
Republic FC Bench: Shannon Gomez (IN, 79’), Duke Lacroix, Hayden Sargis, Kharlton Belmar (IN, 87’), Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, Mitchell Taintor (IN, 90+’), Julian Chavez (IN, 79’)
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