The Sacramento Republic F.C. hosted their second home game at Bonney Field. Another sellout crowd was in attendance to cheer on their hometown heroes. It was a perfect night for viewing soccer with a cool breeze blowing through Cal Expo Fairgrounds making it a comfortable night. Sacramento was looking for their second win in a row and a victory over their newly minted rivals the Arizona United S.C.
The first half started out with very aggressive play from both teams. Sacramento attacked Arizona’s defense but were denied any scoring opportunities but persistence pays off of for the Republic F.C. because in the 13th minute, Emrah Klimenta scored (with an assist from Rodrigo Lopez) giving Sacramento a 1-0 lead. The goal seemed to have waken up the United who started to play an aggressive attacking offense throughout the mid-half backpedaling Sacramento in defense mode. Arizona missed a backdoor goal attempt due to the Republic’s strong defense and goalie play.
As the minutes to the first half began to wane, the United started to play chippy and used veteran tactics and old school tricks to stall the explosive attack of Sacramento. An extra minute was added to the game but neither team was able to use it to their advantage ending the first half 1-0. The second half started out just like the first the Republic out of the starting gate making a tremendous push down the pitch but the United’s strong defense held. The Tower Bridge Battalion rallied the fans and cheered on their team to score another goal. As the game see sawed between both teams as neither one would give an inch on the pitch but the aggressive play would soon catch up and the red cards were dealt.
The first one came in the 58th minute when Widner Saint-Cyr of the United was ejected from the game after receiving a yellow in the first. Sacramento had the man advantage but were unable to capitalize on it. The Republic however would lose the player edge in the 74th minute when Chad Bartlomé was given a red card and was ejected. Arizona played with a renewed vigor and continued to harass and pester Sacramento with their veteran trickery, foul drawing and stalling tactics. In the 89th minute, an attacking United player went in for a scoring attempt and collided with goalie Jake Gleeson. The blow from the collision knocked out Gleeson who was on the ground for several minutes before being helped off the field by paramedics. Backup goalie Dominik Jakubek came into the game for the final extra minutes to ice the game for Sacramento.
Coach Preki was disappointed with the referee’s judgement on the pitch and their questionable calls. He wants to get the team well rested before their flight to Oklahoma City to face the Energy Saturday evening. With the win, Sacramento improves to 8-4-2 in the USL Pro moving them into fourth place. Arizona United S.C. falls to 4-7-3. The Republic’s next game will be this Saturday in Oklahoma City against the Energy F.C. Game time is scheduled for 5:00 P.M. For more details please visit http://www.sacrepublicfc.com.