Tag Archives: Wilson Kneeshaw

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 Defeats Portland Timbers 2 1-0

Wilson Keeshaw’s 14th minute goal is enough for Sacramento Republic FC to earn their fourth road victory of the season, while the defense extend their shutout streak to 329 minutes in the 1-0 win over Portland Timbers 2. The win also extends Republic FC’s unbeaten streak to seven straight.

Republic FC and T2 went back and forth early in the match, but Republic FC would strike first in the 14th minute.  Following a restart near midfield, James Kiffe sent a long ball to the top of the box where Matt Wiesenfarth stood.  The forward, making his first appearance for Republic FC, nodded the ball into the air, before bringing the ball down and with his second touch finding Wilson Kneeshaw, who touched the ball past the defense.  Kneeshaw, now in a one-on-one situation with T2 keeper Kendall McIntosh, struck a right-footed shot across the face of goal and into the bottom left corner of the goal giving Republic FC the early 1-0 lead.

 T2 seemed to be energized by the goal and maintained a strong control on the possession for most of the first half.  Despite the possession, the Republic FC defense held strong, with the best look of the half for T2 coming on a 26th minute free kick. Midfielder Jack Barmby stepped up to take a free kick, sending a curling left-footed shot over the wall and toward the bottom left corner of the goal.  Republic FC keeper Evan Newton was in good position however, and was there quickly to make the save keeping the match 1-0, which would hold until halftime.

 The second half started in a very similar way as the first half ended, with T2 controling possession, but Republic FC holding strong defensively and not allowing many good looks on goal.  In the 50th minute T2 had their strongest look on goal in the second half.  Barmby started the play on the right side with some fancy footwork to get around the defense before finding Omar Mohamed at the top of the box.  Mohamed then turned and took a few touches before sending a strong left-footed strike on goal, but the ball sailed just wide to the left.

 Republic FC would gain an advantage in the 85th minute when T2 defender Harold Hanson received his second yellow card in the match after shoving Republic FC forward Christian Chaney over the field signs following a ball going out of play. 

 Republic FC looked to have capitalized on their advantage in the 88th minute following a Newton save.  Tyler Blackwood sprung a counter attack down the right side of the pitch.  Blackwood hit the top of the box before slowing and sending a centering ball to substitute forward Trevin Caesar in the middle.  Caesar attempted to fire a one-touch shot on goal, but has it deflected right back to him.  The forward then lined up a second shot with the keeper off his line, but his second shot was again deflected, this time by defender Michael Amick.  Republic FC would then maintain their defense and see the match out, earning the 1-0 road victory, extending their unbeaten streak to seven straight matches and moving back into fifth place in the Western Conference standings.

 Republic FC return home when they host Reno 1868 FC on Saturday, Aug. 19.  Kickoff is 8 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Tickets are still available at SacRepublicFC.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Defeat Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 1-0

Jeremy Hall’s 82nd minute penalty kick proves the difference

 Sacramento Republic FC quickly established their domination of possession, which would persist for most of the match. Trevin Caesar and Wilson Kneeshaw linked up in the 6th minute with Caesar setting up Kneeshaw for a shot in the box. Kneeshaw’s one timed shot went a just wide of the near post and out play. Agustin Cazarez had a shot sail just high of the crossbar in the 17th minute after good build up play gave him the opportunity.

 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 had their chances in the first half to claim an early lead, but they could not find the finishing touch. Thomas Sanner missed a golden opportunity to go ahead in the 23rd minute when he could not put his header on target inside the six-yard box. WFC2 had another solid chance to grab the first goal of the match in the 34th minute. Elliott Hord’s clearing header did not get out of the box and found the feet of Marco Bustos. The midfielder navigated his way through three Republic FC defenders before trying to get a shot on goal. Bustos lost his balance and went to ground in hopes of a foul being called, but none would come, leaving the match scoreless going into the half.

 Sammy Ochoa had his best chance on goal in the 57th minute. Tyler Blackwood was able to take his defender on and beat him to the touchline. Blackwood then slid the ball into the box where Ochoa was charging. Ochoa slid to tap the ball into the net but it got caught in his feet as he ended up in the goal and Vancouver cleared it out of harm’s way.

 Chris Christian nearly put Republic FC ahead in the 66th minute with his powerful header off a perfect free kick from Jeremy Hall. Christian got airborne in the box and snapped his header towards the far post but Vancouver keeper Spencer Richey made the save of the night, diving to his right to block Christian’s header off the line.

 Republic finally found the goal in the 82nd minute thanks to Blackwood and Hall. Blackwood was able to earn a penalty kick after being clipped by a defender just inside the box. Hall stepped up and put his penalty kick top shelf as he blasted it past Richey and into the back of the net. Hall’s goal would prove to be the decisive goal as Sacramento Republic FC earned the three points with a 1-0 victory over Vancouver.

 “We deserved it in the end,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “We got it right. We really did control the second half. I am very proud of the win and the run we are on.”

 Republic FC will travel to Portland to take on Timbers 2 on Sunday, Aug. 13 at Providence Park.  Kickoff is 2 p.m. The match will be broadcast on CW31 and streamed online at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.

Match Recap Courtesy of the  Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

 Sacramento Republic FC Defeat Seattle Sounders FC 2 2-0

Sacramento Republic FC earn an important three points with commanding 2-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC 2 at Papa Murphy’s Park.

 Sacramento Republic FC capitalized on heavy early possession with a goal in the 16th minute. Strong buildup play led to forward Sammy Ochoa turning on the ball to find time, space and an open teammate. Ochoa picked his head up and found Trevin Caesar in the box. Caesar swung his right foot through the cross and blasted his volley through the hands of Seattle Sounders FC 2 keeper Sam Fowler, putting Republic FC ahead 1-0.

 S2 came within inches of an equalizer in the 26th minute when forward Irvin Parra sent a screaming right-footed shot from just outside the box. Parra’s strike went just wide of the far post. Parra linked up with Shandon Hopeau just moments later with a dangerous cross into the box. Parra sent a far-post cross that found the head of Hopeau rising above the Republic FC defense. Hopeau redirected his header back across the face of goal, but Republic FC keeper Evan Newton was in perfect position to block the shot away to preserve the 1-0 lead going into the half.

 Republic FC nearly doubled up their lead in the 51st minute when Wilson Kneeshaw wreaked havoc on the left wing. Kneeshaw danced through the defense before sliding a cross into the box for Tyler Blackwood, who was making a near post run. Blackwood trapped the ball at his feet and Blackwood poked the ball far post but Sam Fowler was able to make a diving save.

 Blackwood would put Republic FC up 2-0 with his wonder strike in the 60th minute. Newton’s goal kick sailed into the attacking zone for Sammy Ochoa, who flicked the header into the path of a streaking Blackwood. The speedy forward charged the S2 defense, getting all the way to the touchline. Blackwood seemed as though he was sending a cross towards the far post, but the ball beat Fowler and snuck in the side netting for the improbable second goal.

 Back and forth play from both sides led to some acrobatic and timely saves from Fowler and Newton. The keepers traded strong saves in the 71st and 72nd minutes, with Newton making numerous crucial stops. Both sides had minor chances in the final 20 minutes but the score line would hold for a 2-0 victory for Republic FC.

 “It’s important when you’re not at your very best that you find a way to win the game,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “We got in great positions. We need more and the players know that.”

 Republic FC will return to action on Saturday, Aug. 5, when they host Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2.  Kickoff is 8 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Tickets are available at SacRepublicFC.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the  Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Tie San Antonio FC 1-1

Early goal from Emrah Klimenta and a strong defensive effort give Sacramento Republic FC a hard earned point in 1-1 draw with visiting San Antonio FC in front of sold out crowd at Papa Murphy’s Park. 

Sacramento Republic FC opened the scoring in the 19th minute. Both sides were locked in a back and forth battle before Emrah Klimenta and Danny Barrera linked up for the first goal. Klimenta surged out of the back line with the ball at his feet before finding Barrera in the attacking third. Klimenta continued his run and Barrera slid a through ball in front of Klimenta and gave him enough time and space to get a shot off. Klimenta struck his right-foot through the ball as he sent his one-timed effort past San Antonio FC keeper Lee Johnston and into the net for the 1-0 lead for Republic FC.

San Antonio FC answered shortly after in the 31st minute. Forward AJ Ajeakwa ran onto a through ball from Kris Tyrpak as he found space behind Republic FC’s defense. Ajeakwa seemed to be losing his balance and looked to be going to ground but the forward steadied himself just enough to flick a right-footed shot past Republic FC keeper Evan Newton and into the corner of the net to equalize for San Antonio FC.

Klimenta had a great chance to double up in the 34th minute when he found himself on the end of a Barrera corner kick. Klimenta’s initial shot was blocked, but he secured the rebound and sent a second shot on goal that forced Johnston to block it away. Klimenta was in position to snatch a second rebound and send a third shot on goal, only to have Johnston make another save to start the counterattack. The score would remain 1-1 going into halftime.

Newton was tested in the 60th minute when San Antonio gained ground on the right wing. Midfielder Billy Forbes attacked up the right side before he cut inside and picked his head up. Forbes whipped a left-footed strike on goal and Newton had to get to full stretch to make the save and push the shot away.

Not to be outdone, Johnston answered his call to action in the 72nd minute. Republic FC forward Wilson Kneeshaw sprinted past the defense and onto a lofted ball. Kneeshaw had only Johnston to beat as he sent the shot on goal. Johnston trapped the ball at his feet while going to the ground to make the crucial save.

Republic FC had two golden opportunities to take the lead go begging in the 79th and 87th minutes. Strong buildup play landed the ball at the feet of second-half substitute Gabe Gissie on the right wing. Gissie sent a perfectly driven low cross to the far post that glided past the defense and Johnston. Daniel Trickett-Smith was in prime position on the back post to redirect the ball into the empty net. Trickett-Smith missed the target and sent it just wide of the goal.

Trickett-Smith found redemption in the 87th minute with a perfect corner kick that found the head of Gissie. The midfielder headed the ball back across the face of goal to Jeremy Hall, who then sent his header right back to the center for Wilson Kneeshaw. Kneeshaw could not wrap his foot around the ball as his one-timed shot sailed just over the net and out of play, ending the in a 1-1 draw.

“I enjoyed watching us play tonight,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “I think tactically it worked. It was a wonderful goal for Emrah. I was very pleased with the work rate and the effort.“ 

Republic FC will take a three-week break from USL play as their next USL match will be Sunday, Jul. 23 against Seattle Sounders FC 2.  In the meantime, Republic FC will host CF Pachuca on Saturday, Jul. 15.  Kickoff is 8 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Defeat LA Galaxy II 3-2

Sacramento Republic FC power past LA Galaxy II behind goals from Jeremy Hall, Tyler Blackwood and Trevin Caesar and a big save from Evan Newton.

 Sacramento Republic FC picked up right where they left off coming out strong against LA Galaxy II.  In just the 10th minute, Republic FC would earn their first chance in the form of a penalty.  Defender James Kiffe drove past his mark before taking the ball all the way down the left side to the touchline and sending a left-footed cross toward the middle.  Kiffe’s cross did not find a Republic FC player, but instead found the hand of a Los Dos defender, earning Republic FC an early penalty.  Midfielder Jeremy Hall stepped up to take the penalty, hitting a low driven shot toward the right side of the goal.  Los Dos keeper Eric López guessed right and was able to get his hand on the ball, but Hall hit the shot too hard, powering the ball past López and into the net, putting Republic FC ahead 1-0 early.

 Republic FC continued to press, doubling their lead just three minutes later.  Midfielder Agustin Cazarez found space on the left side of the field before sending a looping cross toward a streaking Tyler Blackwood in the middle of the box.  The cross bent around the Los Dos defense allowing Blackwood to just stick his foot out and poke the ball into the right side of the net to put Republic FC ahead 2-0.

Defender Elliott Hord helped set up Republic FC’s third goal of the night in just the 18th minute.  Hord drove past the defense on the right side before sending a ball into the box.  Forward Wilson Kneeshaw was able to run onto the ball, sending a one-touch backheel pass to Trevin Caesar, who was trailing the play.  Caesar one-touched his left-footed shot toward the near post past a diving López and into the back of the net to give Republic FC the 3-0 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff Los Dos looked to have struck back.  A long ball seemed to have played Raul Mendiola into a one-on-one situation with Evan Newton.  The Republic FC keeper beat Mendiola to the ball, but was only able to knock the ball.  Newton was quick to his feet and was able to deflect the ball off Tyler Turner who was following the play.  The deflection fell to Adonis Amaya whose shot was blocked by Chris Christian, but the ball found the feet of Justin Dhillon.  The forward’s shot was deemed to have touched the hand of Christian giving Los Dos a penalty.  Amaya stepped up to take the penalty, driving a low left-footed shot just to the left of Newton, but the keeper got down quick to make what proved to be a huge save in the match keeping the score 3-0, which would hold going into the half.

Despite Republic FC coming out strong again in the second half, it was Los Dos who were able to get a goal back in the 54th minute.  After a long clearance was batted around in the middle of the field, Amaya was able to recover the ball and play Dhillon free and into a one-on-one scenario with Newton.  Dhillon opted to keep his shot low, beating the on-rushing Newton and into the back of the net, making the score 3-1.

In the 70th minute, Jonathan Hernandez found space on the right side near the center circle before sending a long ball forward ahead of the defense.  Hord was unable to clear the ball away and substitute forward Adrián Vera ran onto the ball into the box, flicking it up and over Newton and into the goal making the score 3-2.

Republic FC looked as though they might put the game away in the 89th minute after substitute forward Gabe Gissie shook off a defender to put himself in a one-on-one situation with López.  Gissie unleashed a rocket shot that beat the keeper, but defender Jean Engola had recovered to cover the back post and was able to slide and deflect the ball away.

Republic FC would finish out the match and move into sole possession of third place in the USL standings.  Republic FC will remain in Southern California as they take on LA Galaxy (MLS) in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wed. Jun. 28.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at the StubHub Center Track Stadium.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Defeat FC Anahuac 4-0

Sacramento Republic FC advance to the Third Round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 4-0 victory over FC Anahuac behind a brace from Harry Williams and a goal each from Wilson Kneeshaw and Daniel Trickett-Smith.

Sacramento Republic FC broke through in the 12th minute after dominating possession from the start. Midfielder Elliott Hord was able to find space on the right flank and send a low driven cross into the box for forward Harry Williams who got a flick touch onto the ball, sending it inside the far post and into the side netting for the opening goal.

Three minutes later, Hord would again link up with Williams on a very similar cross, which the forward was able to knock past FC Anahuac keeper Angel Octavio Alvarez and into the back of the net for Williams’ second goal of the match, putting Republic FC ahead 2-0.

FC Anahuac had a decent chance on goal in the 37th minute when forward Ismael Santana was able to beat Republic FC keeper Dominik Jakubek to a ball in the air. Santana chested the ball down and had to turn to face goal as he sent a shot right at Jakubek who was able to parry it away to a defender.

Republic FC forward Sammy Ochoa had a good look on goal in the 43rd minute as he blasted a right-footed shot on goal. Alvarez was in a good position to make the save and push the ball out of play. Republic FC would go into a halftime with a 2-0 lead. 

Williams nearly had his hat trick goal in the 53rd minute, once again getting behind a cross from Hord, but Alvarez was able to make a key save again. Forward Sammy Ochoa had a breakaway chance snuffed out by Alvarez just a few minutes later. Williams had two more chances to snatch his hat trick before he was substituted off for Wilson Kneeshaw.

Kneeshaw converted a penalty kick, an appropriate birthday gift to himself, in the 66th minute after he was clipped in the box by FC Anahuac defender Christian Esnal Fernandez. Kneeshaw calmly placed the ball in the bottom left corner of the goal, past a diving Alvarez, putting Republic FC ahead 3-0.

Second half substitute Daniel Trickett-Smith would score Republic FC’s fourth in the 85th minute when he drilled home a rocket, side-winding volley. Forward Trevin Caesar attacked up the left side and sent a shot on goal that was deflected straight up in to the air. Trickett-Smith was in perfect position to send his volley on net as he found the back of the net to give Republic FC a 4-0 lead, which they would carry to the final whistle.

“No game is a gimme“, said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “We stuck together and we got a good result tonight.”

Republic FC will host Reno 1868 FC on Wednesday, May 31, in the Third Round of the U.S. Open Cup. Location and kickoff TBD.

Republic FC return to USL play when they host Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Saturday, May 20 at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available at Ticketmaster.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC  Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Ties Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 0-0

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

Sacramento Republic FC Fall To Portland Timbers 2 0-2

Goals from Villyan Bijev and Victor Arboleda help Portland Timbers 2 hand Sacramento Republic FC their first regular season home loss since Jul. 6, 2016.

Sacramento Republic FC and Portland Timbers 2 played a back and forth first half of the match. Republic FC came closest with a few scoring opportunities off set pieces. Midfielder Daniel Trickett-Smith nearly scored on a direct free kick in the 4th minute, but just couldn’t quite get the ball over the defensive wall. A few minutes later it was Trickett-Smith again, this time linking up with Republic FC captain Danny Barrera to try to beat the T2 defensive line with some layoff passes, but unfortunately the attack was again foiled by the T2 defense.

T2 would jump on the score sheet first in the 40th minute when they were awarded a penalty kick for a foul called in the box on Republic FC defender Jeremy Hall. Midfielder Vilyan Bijev calmly stepped up to the spot in front the imposing north bleacher and Tower Bridge Battalion, who were screaming down on him, and coolly sent a chipped penalty kick that beat Republic FC keeper Evan Newton and put the visitors in front 1-0 going into halftime.

Republic FC came out of halftime strong with a couple threatening crosses from defender James Kiffe, but neither was converted into a goal. Wilson Kneeshaw was able to get his head to one of Kiffe’s spectacular services a few minutes later, but just couldn’t steer it on frame. Trickett-Smith also had a chance for a strike in the 53rd minute after a perfect drop-off pass from forward Trevin Caesar, but the T2 defense was able to block the shot away.

T2 would add to their lead in the 68th minute after Newton came off his line to stop a streaking attack. Newton made the initial stop, but the rebound was collected by midfielder Victor Arboleda who took the ball a few touches to his right before sending a grounded shot into the bottom left corner of the goal giving T2 the 2-0 lead.

Republic FC nearly pulled one back in the 84th minute when defender Chris Christian sent a long-looping ball into the box which found the head of Trickett-Smith. The midfielder redirected a header on net, but T2 keeper Wade Hamilton stretched out to make a crucial save to essentially secure the visitors’ two-goal victory.

 “We gifted them the game,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “We had our chances in the match. It wasn’t about tactics; we just couldn’t put it in the back of the net. We were our own worst enemy.”

Republic FC begin another three-match road stretch on Saturday, Apr. 29 when they travel to take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. Kickoff is 3 p.m. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide and YouTube.com/USL.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Falls To Swope Park Rangers 0-1

Sacramento Republic FC fall 1-0 in a hard fought match against Swope Park Rangers, completing a difficult early-season three-match road stretch.

The match started with Swope Park Rangers controlling most of the possession, but Republic FC’s defense was up to the task, keeping the Rangers offense quiet through the first half.  

Republic FC would have their first strong chance on goal in the 22nd minute.  Republic FC’s attack started with midfielder Danny Barrera finding forward Wilson Kneeshaw, who had beat his man down the right side of the field.  Kneeshaw ran onto Barrera’s long ball and fired a right-footed shot toward the near post.  Rangers’ goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra was there to deflect Kneeshaw’s shot, but the ball went right back to Kneeshaw who found Daniel Trickett-Smith at the top of the box.  The midfielder took a shot, but his shot, like Kneeshaw’s, was deflected, keeping the match scoreless.

The Rangers had their best looks on goal successively in the 29th and 30th minutes.  The first look was started by Colton Storm who sent a grounded cross into the box that was parried away by Dominik Jakubek, but right to the feet of Christian Duke who made a centering pass to former Republic FC forward Cameron Iwasa who fired toward goal only to have his shot blocked by his own teammate Mark Anthony Gonzalez.  The forward recovered the ball before turning and sending another shot toward goal, but it was saved by Jakubek before getting cleared off the line by Moffat.

However, the danger was not completely over as Storm would start the second wave of pressure again crossing the ball to the middle.  Storm’s cross found Iwasa who was cutting laterally in the box. Iwasa attempted a one-touch shot, but his shot was deflected again, but again found the feet of Gonzalez who took another shot, but a sliding Jakubek was there to clear the danger.  Duke would collect the clearance, however, firing a final shot toward goal, but a deflection allowed Hall to clear the ball as Republic FC’s defense held strong despite the flurry of opportunities for the Rangers, keeping the match scoreless going into the half.

Republic FC came out strong in the second half, controlling more of the possession and getting most of the chances. Republic FC’s first good chance of the second half came in the 54th minute on a break. Defender Elliott Hord sent a long through ball from the right side that was just beyond the reach of Tyler Blackwood who was making a near post run. A Swope Park defender attempted to clear Hord’s through ball, but his clearance went right to the feet of Blackwood who continued his run. Blackwood took a strong shot toward the right side of the goal, but the ball went just wide to the right of the goal keeping the match at 0-0.

The Rangers would break the deadlock in the 70th minute. Duke had the ball in the middle of the field before sending it to forward Kharlton Belmar on the right side.  Belmar touched the ball around his mark and hustled toward the end line before sending a strike toward the near post. Jakubek read the shot well, knocking the ball away, but his deflection was in the perfect place for Gonzalez as he followed the play.  Gonzalez nodded the ball into the back of the net, giving the Rangers the 1-0 lead.

Republic FC seemed to be energized by the goal as they immediately looked for an equalizer. In the 74th minute midfielder Adam Moffat intercepted a pass in the attacking third, beginning a Republic FC break. Moffat took a few touches toward the middle, splitting the defense, before sending a left-footed shot toward goal, but his attempt was a little high and wide left. Republic FC would continue to press, getting multiple chances in the final 15 minutes, but were unable to find an equalizer, giving the Rangers the 1-0 victory.

Republic FC finishes their arduous road stretch that saw the club travel almost 7,000 miles to play three matches in the span of seven days, their most difficult road stretch of the season. Republic FC will return home on Saturday, Apr. 22 when they take on Portland Timbers 2 at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the match are still available at Ticketmaster.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations