MLS side LAFC defeat Sacramento Republic FC 1-0 in preseason friendly at Papa Murphy’s Park.
Sacramento Republic FC and Los Angeles Football Club both came out attacking and feeling each other out. Republic FC saw its first real scoring chance in the 13th minute when Wilson Kneeshaw attacked up the right side. Kneeshaw got all the way to the touchline before slicing a cross into the box. The cross was deflected by the defense and bounced to the near post where Hayden Partain had been making a run. Partain flung his body at the ball, trying to redirect it into the net, but the ball took a hard bounce and it was cleared away from danger.
Republic FC had another strong chance in the 25th minute when Christian Eissele and Cameron Iwasa nearly linked up for a spectacular goal. Eissele laid off a long ball to a streaking Iwasa just outside the box. Iwasa wasted no time volleying a shot through LAFC’s defense, but it was just wide of the goal. The two would link up again in the 31st minute, but Eissele’s shot was saved by LAFC keeper Tyler Miller.
LAFC did not see many chances in the first half, but Marcos Ureña nearly put LAFC ahead in the 31st minute. The forward found open space in the box and the ball crossed to his feet. He tried to beat Republic FC keeper Josh Cohen to the far post, but his shot went just wide and out of play. The match would remain scoreless through halftime.
The visitors had a bevy of chances early in the second half as they had four consecutive shots in the 53rd minute. LAFC put five men in the box and had every one of their shots either blocked by Cohen or deflected by a Republic FC defender. The home side was able to withstand the 20-second flurry and ultimately clear the ball away.
LAFC would finally break through in the 60th minute with a goal from João Moutinho. The MLS side capitalized on extended offensive pressure to start the second half, as Moutinho beat the defense and received a pass from Carlos Vela. Moutinho promptly beat Cohen with a well-placed far-post strike for the goal.
Cohen kept Republic FC within striking distance with an excellent diving save in the 68th minute. Marcos Ureña again was open in the box and again Cohen was able to block away his shot. Rafa Diaz, who came on for Cohen late in the second half, also made a key stop in the 83rd minute. Despite the best efforts of the home side to equalize, the match ended in a 1-0 victory for LAFC.
“They have good players and they move the ball well,” said Republic FC Head Coach Simon Elliott of LAFC. “We always try to do our homework before games. I thought our defending deeper was decent and I thought we could have done better defending higher.”
Republic FC will continue their 2017 preseason when they take on USL newcomers Fresno FC in a friendly match on Sunday, Mar. 4. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Stanislaus State University.
Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations