Sacramento Republic FC claim a point on the road after a scoreless draw against San Diego Loyal SC
SAN DIEGO, California - Republic FC's first-ever match against USL Championship newcomers San Diego Loyal SC ended in a 0-0 draw on Saturday night in Southern California.
The boys in Old Glory Red remain in second place in Group A following the result with six points from five fixtures.
Both goalkeepers came up big for their respective clubs, with a flurry of saves from Loyal SC 'keeper Joe Kempin that denied Republic FC all three points in its inaugural trip to San Diego. Iwasa nearly nabbed his 50th league goal in the 29th minute of the first half from a header and just a few minutes before the Sacramento-native's attempt, the SD GK batted away a Dariusz Formella effort from point blank.
The Indomitable Club's defense was an impenetrable force for the majority of the match that Loyal SC, a team head coached by former USMNT legend Landon Donovan, couldn't seem to create chances against - as the SRFC defensive unit didn't allow the hosts a single shot in over 35 minutes to open the match.
Rafael Diaz made his first start in goal for Republic FC this season and notched his first clean sheet of the 2020 USL Championship campaign and third of his SRFC career during league play. Diaz finished the night with two saves but his diving stop in the 45th minute showcased Diaz's acrobatics, athleticism, and lightning-quick reflexes.
Mark Briggs' men opened the second half with their foot on the gas pedal almost took the lead five minutes after the break when Kharlton Belmar rifled a dangerous cross into the box that Sam Werner headed just wide. Both Werner and Iwasa finished the night with a team-high three scoring chances created each and the club collected 11 opportunities compared to SD's four.
The shutout is the second of the season for Republic FC, after blanking its regional rivals Reno 1868 FC 1-0 on July 19.
Next up for the boys in Old Glory Red is a trip to the Pacific Northwest for a Saturday night showdown against Portland Timbers 2. Kickoff against fellow Group A opponent is set for 7 p.m. PT and is the first of four regular season matchups against T2.
Sacramento Republic FC 0-0 San Diego Loyal SC
USL Championship Match
Torero Stadium - San Diego, CA
August 1, 2020
Scoring Summary: None
Misconduct Summary: SD - Ben Spencer (caution) 41', Emrah Klimenta (caution) 66', Eric Avila 85'; SAC - Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu (caution) 55', Tomas Hilliard-Arce (caution) 71', Drew Skundrich (caution) 88', Cameron Iwasa (caution) 90'.
Sacramento Republic FC - Rafael Diaz; Ashkanov Apollon, Hayden Sargis, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Jordan McCrary, Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, Drew Skundrich ©, Sam Werner, Kharlton Belmar, Dariusz Formella (Villyan Bijev 73'), Cameron Iwasa.
Unused substitutes: Diego Ramos, Matt Mahoney, Julian Chavez, Jaime Villarreal, Rafael Jauregui, Rodrigo Lopez.
Stats - Shots: 11, Shots on Goal: 3, Saves: 2, Fouls: 14, Corner Kicks: 2, Offsides: 1.
San Diego Loyal SC -Jon Kempin; Grant Stoneman, Emrah Klimenta, Sal Zizzo ©, Jack Metcalf, Elijah Martin (Eric Avila 57'); Carlos Alvarez, Collin Martin (Francis Atuahene 72'), Charlie Adams, Tumi Moshobane; Ben Spencer (Ivan Parra 72').
Unused substitutes: Jake Fenlason, Jordan Chavez, Beverly Makangila, Morgan Hackworth.
Stats - Shots: 5, Shots on Goal: 2, Saves: 3, Fouls: 8, Corner Kicks: 4, Offsides: 1.
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