A 64th minute penalty kick proved to be the difference as Sacramento Republic FC fall 1-0 to San Antonio FC, extending San Antonio’s undefeated start to the season.
Republic FC started the match very strong, pressing San Antonio FC’s defense looking for a goal. They had their best chance on goal in just the 18th minute after forward Sammy Ochoa stole the ball in the attacking third earning himself a one-on-one situation with San Antonio FC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo. Ochoa looked to beat the keeper with a left footed shot, but Restrepo was there with a foot save. The ball did bounce back in a dangerous area and found the feet of forward Wilson Kneeshaw in front of goal, but defender Stephen McCarthy was there to make a sliding tackle to clear the ball from danger.
The best chance of the first half for San Antonio FC came late in stoppage time, which seemed to extend long past the one-minute allotted. Defender Ben Newnam stole the ball on the right side of the field and drove toward the touchline before sending in a high-arching cross. Newnam’s cross found the head of midfielder Rafa Castillo who sent a shot toward goal, but the ball went just over the bar keeping the match scoreless at the half.
Republic FC again came out strong to start the second half, earning two corners and a free kick in the first three minutes. Danny Barrera’s corner in the 48th minute found the head of Kneeshaw who sent the ball into the box where it was batted around before falling to the feet of midfielder Daniel Trickett-Smith. The midfielder attempted a right-footed volley, but his shot sailed over the bar.
Republic FC would have another chance in the 61st minute off a throw-in from the right side. Barrera received the throw, turned to the middle before sending a cross into the box. Trickett-Smith found space in the middle of the box, leaping high in the air to connect with Barrera’s cross, and sending a shot toward the lower right corner of the goal. Restrepo read the header well and again was there to make the diving save.
San Antonio FC would strike just minutes later. In the 63rd minute, a San Antonio throw deep in Republic FC’s attacking third sprung a counter attack down the right side. Kris Tyrpak led the attack down the right side before chipping the ball toward Akwafei Ajeakwa. The substitute forward attempted to head the ball down, but was tripped up in the box, earning San Antonio a penalty. Castillo stepped up to take the ensuing penalty, firing a strike to the top right side of the goal that just beat the outstretched hand of Evan Newton who had guessed right. The penalty put San Antonio FC ahead 1-0.
Republic FC fought valiantly to find an equalizer and looked to have found it in the 84th minute. Midfielder Jeremy Hall played a long ball back into the box after a Republic FC corner kick was cleared to near midfield. Hall’s long-ball found Emrah Klimenta who headed the ball across goal to Ochoa who was making a run down the middle of the box. Ochoa was able to get a foot on Klimenta’s cross, but Restrepo, who made four saves on the night, was again there for the save.
Republic FC complete their second three-match road stretch of the season when they travel to Salt Lake City to take on Real Monarchs SLC on Saturday, May 13. Kickoff is 6:30 pm. The match will be broadcast live on CW31.
Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations