Tag Archives: Villyan Bijev

Sacramento Republic FC Falls to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 1-0

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC defeat Sacramento Republic FC 1-0 behind a 36th minute goal from Kevaughn Frater and a stout defensive performance.

 The match began with both teams feeling each other out, but Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, who needed a win or tie to keep their playoff hopes alive, pushed to find an early goal.  Despite the early pressure by the Switchbacks, it was Republic FC who would see the best early chance in the 27th minute.  Midfielder Villyan Bijev attacked through the middle of the field, reaching the top of the box before laying the ball wide to the left where Wilson Kneeshaw was making a run.  Kneeshaw attempted a right-footed shot, but a diving Switchbacks defender was there just in the nick of time to knock the ball out for a corner.

 The Switchbacks pressure would break through in the 36th minute on a play that started down the left side.  Defender Josh Suggs drove the ball down the side before cutting the ball back and sending a cross toward the back post.  Midfielder Kevaughn Frater chested the ball down and took a quick touch before firing a low shot past the defense and into the back post to put the Switchbacks ahead 1-0 going into the half.

 Looking to increase their lead, the Switchbacks would continue the attack early in the second half.  In the 53rd minute they had their best chance on a corner by Masta Kacher.  The midfielder’s looping pass went into the middle of the box where it was popped straight up in the air.  Frater tried to knock the ball toward the net, but it was punched out by Newton instead, but only as far as Shawn Chin who chested the ball down before hitting a long shot from around 30-yards out.  The ball started going toward the upper right corner but bent high and wide right, keeping the score 1-0.

 The Switchbacks almost doubled their lead again in the 76th minute.  The ball went long where both Akwafei Ajeakwa and Frater had beat the defense.  Frater brought the long ball down in a one-on-one with Newton and attempted to chip the Republic FC keeper, but Newton was quick to leap in the air and snag the ball to keep Republic FC in the match.

 Republic FC had their best chance of the half a minute into stoppage time. Kiffe’s corner went to the far post where Jeremy Hall jumped high to head the ball back into the middle.  Villyan Bijev made a run to that spot and was able to snap a header toward the goal, but Dan Jackson was quick to dive and make the save.

 Republic FC will finish their three-match road trip when they travel to face Reno 1868 FC on Saturday, Oct. 14.  With a win or a tie in that match Republic FC will clinch their fourth straight playoff appearance.  Republic FC would also clinch a playoff spot with a loss or a draw tonight by Orange County SC.  Kickoff for the match against Reno 1868 FC is 7:30 p.m. at Greater Nevada Field.  The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.

Sacramento Republic FC Defeat Phoenix Rising FC 2-0

Goals from Emrah Klimenta and Agustin Cazarez lift Sacramento Republic FC to a 2-0 victory over Phoenix Rising FC to break their eleven-match unbeaten streak.

 After both teams struggled to find an offensive flow in the beginning of the match, Sacramento Republic FC found their stride in the 16th minute. Forward Trevin Caesar attacked down the left side of the pitch before sending a low cross into the box for Sammy Ochoa, who slyly dummied the ball between his legs. Midfielder Villyan Bijev tracked the ball into the box before rifling a right-footed shot just wide of the near post. Moments after Bijev’s near miss, Caesar nearly broke loose on an empty net but Phoenix Rising FC keeper Josh Cohen came off his line to force Caesar out towards the sideline.

 Phoenix had a great chance of their own go begging in the 27th minute. Forward Chris Cortez sent a short cross into the box just in front of Republic FC keeper Evan Newton. Jason Johnson won the aerial battle and sent a looping header towards goal. Newton had to retreat back and fully outstretch for the header. The ball looked dangerous as it dipped and hit the top of the crossbar with Newton cleverly letting it go out of play as to not concede a corner kick. The match would stay scoreless through halftime.

 Republic FC captain Emrah Klimenta put his stamp on the match in the 49th minute. Phoenix midfielder Matt Watson was whistled and carded for a handball just outside the box. Klimenta stood over the spot from 20 yards out and curled a right-footed shot over the wall and past Cohen for the emphatic 1-0 lead for Republic FC.

 Agustin Cazarez would add a second goal for Republic FC in the 54th minute. Strong build-up play led Bijev up the left wing with the ball. Bijev coolly slid a pass into the middle before the defense could get to him and the ball found the feet of Cazarez. The Republic FC midfield mainstay settled the ball in front of him before sending a left-footed shot on frame that beat Cohen and hit the back of the net.

 Newton made a crucial save in the 77th minute to preserve the two-goal lead for his side. Gladson Awako sent a free kick cross into the box and through the traffic the ball fell loose in front of goal. Newton quickly pounced on the ball and stopped the Phoenix attack. Republic FC held off the last ditch efforts of Phoenix to secure the 2-0 victory and a vital 3 points in the final home match of the regular season.

 “We were resilient and we had great fight,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “This atmosphere felt like a playoff match with the support [from the fans]. The boys did the job and hopefully we can take a lot of belief from this performance. This was a true Republic performance.”

 Republic FC will begin a three-match road trip to end the season when they travel south to take on Orange County SC on Wednesday, Oct. 4.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Orange County Great Park.  The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Defeats LA Galaxy II 2-1

Sacramento Republic FC use goals from Luis Espino and Villyan Bijev to erase an early deficit and defeat LA Galaxy II 2-1 in front of sold-out crowd at Papa Murphy’s Park.

 Los Dos started the match out with a bang. Forward Ethan Zubak scored in the first 10 seconds, a USL record for fastest goal, beating the previous held record of Jordan Hamilton’s 18th second strike for Wilmington Hammerheads FC in 2014. Midfielder Alejandro Covarrubias took the opening kickoff and sent it long to Zubak who headed the ball down and sent a dipping shot from about 25 yards out that went up and over Dominik Jakubek and into the back of the net.

 Republic FC would answer back with a goal in the 26th minute. Forward Sammy Ochoa attacked down the right side, getting all the way to the touchline. Ochoa dragged the ball back to his left foot and sent a curling cross to the far post. Midfielder Luis Espino, making his Republic FC debut tonight, went unmarked at the far post as he sent his header into the back of the net for the equalizer.  The score would remain 1-1 going into the half.

 Tyler Blackwood had a glorious chance to put Republic FC up a goal in the 59th minute when he used his speed to blow past the Los Dos defense. Blackwood took three touches towards keeper Eric Lopez, who had to come off his line to stop the attack. Blackwood blasted a low shot, but Lopez slid and deflected the breakaway chance out of harm’s way.

 Republic FC would find the go-ahead goal in the 61st minute. Midfielder Villyan Bijev had the ball at his feet in the center of the pitch, 25 yards away from goal. He picked his head up and curled a right-footed shot past the defenders in his way and a diving Lopez for his second goal for Republic FC and putting the home side ahead 2-1.

 Second-half substitute Harry Williams nearly added a third goal in the 89th minute. Williams ran onto a long through ball and beat the defense as he headed for goal. Lopez came rushing off his line to cut down the angle for Williams to shoot at. Williams sent a left-footed shot on goal, but Lopez went to ground to make the save. The match ended a few minutes later with Republic FC securing the three points with a 2-1 victory over their rivals LA Galaxy II.

 “We looked dangerous and we deserved to win,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle after the victory. “We have shown great character this season. To come back when you fall behind, it shows character and we’ve got that. There are no easy games in this league.”

 Republic FC continues their four-match home stand when they host Oklahoma City Energy FC on Saturday, Sept. 23.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Tickets are available at SacRepublicFC.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations