Back-To-Back Heartbreaking Losses for the Sacramento Republic FC
It was a bad case of deja vu for the Sacramento Republic FC on Wednesday night, falling in a near-identical fashion to last Saturday. After falling behind New Mexico United early, Sacramento fought hard to get back into the match with an equalizer in the second half. Within the closing minutes of the match, New Mexico converted a chance, ending the Republic’s comeback. The final score; 2-1.
The Republic struggled to control possession early and New Mexico took advantage. Christopher Wehan was given far too much space just inside the box, rocketing a stunning strike past keeper Rafael Diaz for the match’s opening goal.
Sacramento answered with close to 10 minutes of relentless attacking at the end of the first half, mostly sparked by excellent footwork and dribbling from winger Villyan Bijev, but just couldn’t convert.
The second half opened much like the first, with Sacramento struggling to maintain possession or mount any sort of threatening attack. However, a breakthrough finally came in the 74th minute when midfielder Sam Werner turned an unsuccessful corner kick into a side-net strike through traffic to put Sacramento on the board.
New Mexico, who heading into Wednesday night was winless in their last five matches, immediately looked to retake the lead. After a clumsy Sacramento turnover, United had a two on two break and would have scored if not for an excellent save from Diaz.
Diaz, facing the tough task of replacing former Republic keeper Josh Cohen (who was transferred to Israeli club Maccabi Haifa FC), has some significant shoes to fill. Despite allowing a goal in the 88th minute, a floating volley off of the foot of Daniel Bruce, Diaz has the full support of his teammates between the sticks for the remainder of the season.
“Everyone has full faith in him. People just see what he does out here, we see what he does in training. There were matches even with Josh (Cohen) here I thought he should have started.” – Sam Werner after the match.
The Republic are in desperate need of a win, as they now cling onto 9th place in the West with 26 points. They face Orange County SC, the club currently just a spot below them in 10th, on the road this Saturday.