Sacramento Republic FC end their three-match losing streak as they battle Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 to a scoreless draw in the first of three straight road matches.
Sacramento Republic FC dominated much of the first half, controlling 55 percent of the possession and creating almost all of the chances. Republic FC forced Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 keeper Spencer Richey to make five saves in the first half, while Republic FC goalie Evan Newton was not required to make a single save.
Republic FC forced Richey to make his first save of the match in just the 6th minute. Defender James Kiffe sent a free kick from near the centerline toward the top of the box that was cleared, but only as far midfielder Danny Barrera a few yards away. Barrera nodded the ball down to Wilson Kneeshaw who touched the ball down before sending a shot on goal, but Richey was there for the save.
Republic FC would create three consecutive chances in the 13th, 15th and 16th minutes. The first chance was created after a WFC2 giveaway in their half of the field. Barrera intercepted the ball before playing forward Tyler Blackwood into a one-on-one situation with Richey. Blackwood sent a low shot on goal, but he was unable to get the ball over the sliding Richey. The second chance was again started by Barrera who laid the ball off to forward Sammy Ochoa who was at the top right corner of the box. Ochoa unleashed a strike that looked destined for goal, but Richey was able to deflect the ball just enough that it skidded off the top of the bar and out.
The third chance for Republic FC came in the 16th minute after a cross by midfielder Agustin Cazarez was cleared. Kiffe was sitting unmarked near the top left corner of the box and waited for the ball to make a perfect bounce before sending a left-footed curling volley toward goal, but a diving save by Richey kept the match scoreless, which would hold going into halftime.
Republic FC continued to control the possession in the second half, holding 65 percent of the ball. They would get their first chance of the second half in the 57th minute after Barrera again intercepted the ball in the middle of the pitch. The midfielder then played a through ball to Ochoa who did well to keep his man at bay before sending a low shot toward goal. Ochoa’s shot beat the sliding Richey, but skipped just wide left of the goal keeping the match scoreless.
Despite being virtually untested in the first half, Newton was ready when called upon in both the 62nd and 72nd minutes. The first chance came as David Norman Jr. made a run down the left side of the field. The midfielder then hit a curling ball that found a streaking Gloire Amanda near the top of the box. Amanda attempted a volleyed shot that looked destined for goal, but Newton was able to make a tremendous diving save.
The second chance for WFC2 also came from the right side, but this time it was Andy Thoma making a curled pass to the middle. Substitute forward Thomas Sanner was open as he tried to redirect the pass with his right foot toward goal, but Newton was again there for the save, sliding in at the last second.
Republic FC had a few late chances at goal, but none better than a shot by Kiffe in the 77th minute. Kiffe had found space on the left side of the field before hitting what looked to be a cross toward the box. The ball, however took a different trajectory as it began to travel toward the top left corner of the goal. Richey was quick to recover and knocked the ball over the bar and safely away for WFC2.
The draw ends a three-match losing streak for Republic FC and earns them valuable points on the road as they begin their second three-match road stretch of the season. Republic FC will be back in action on Saturday, May 6 as they take on the USL Western Conference-leading San Antonio FC. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. at Toyota Field. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide and in the USLSoccer.com Match Center.
Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations