A hot July evening at Bonney Field welcomed the fans as they arrived to watch the second friendly between the Sacramento Republic F.C. and the West Bromwich Albion F.C. Last monday’s meeting was quite a close one as the visiting Baggies won the game 1-0. The game started fifteen minutes later than usual due to a “Future’s” game that was held at 5:00 P.M. Both teams look good in the pre-game warm ups and this gearing up to be another great game between both clubs.
West Bromwich took control of the game very early by applying pressure to the Sacramento Republic F.C.’s defense and by keeping their goalie Dominik Jakubek on his toes by kicking several shot-on-goals early in the first. Both teams had no problem running up and down the pitch but the Baggies seemed to have the upper hand by keeping possession of the ball in Sacramento’s side. West Bromwich would be the first to draw blood as they scored in the 13th minute when #18 forward Jaido Berahino scored on a rocket shot that went passed Jakubek and into the net. The Republic would miss several opportunities to score in the first but brilliant slide-tackling and defensive play on the behalf of the Baggies would keep Sacramento scoreless.
Albion F.C. would score again in the 30th minute when midfielder #21 Youssouf Mulumbu (assisted by Jaido Berahino) blasted a shot past Jakubek to make the score 2-0. West Bromwich smelled blood in the water, continued to attack the Republic’s goal but the defense held firm and the goalie would block several shots to prevent a scoring deluge. Sacramento would continue to move the ball down the pitch but the Baggies would counterattack with a strike of their own. So far the first half it has been a relatively clean game with no penalty cards issued.
West Bromwich would continue to press their attack by occupying Sacramento’s side of the pitch and continue to set up a shot-on-goal. The Republic were able to break their hold and counterattack but would miss a shot attempt in the 42nd minute. The Baggies would make a late push and attack Sacramento’s goal but their defense would hold again amidst a tough Albion strike. The first half would end with West Bromwich leading 2-0.
The second half started off with the Republic making a quick push down the pitch to setup an attacking offense which was repelled by West Bromwich’s defense. But so far it has been mostly the Baggies in the second half as they continuously have pressured Sacramento’s defenders and goalie but have been kept out of the net. The warm weather has had a attrition factor on the field as both teams’ offenses have been slowed down late in the game. West Bromwich would break through the Republic's defense and score in the 63rd minute with a goal by #10 Victor Anichebe to make it a 3-0 game.
Sacramento was able to break free from the Baggies’ anaconda like defense and finally scored in the 73rd minute with a goal by Koval making it a 3-1 game. Despite the Republic’s score, West Bromwich continued their tight offensive play as they attacked Sacramento, confusing their defenders by wiggling and finagling their way around them with their tight ball control. The Republic has been on the move but due to the Baggies’ defense they have been trying to score from the outside but are unable to punch it in. West Bromwich goalie Luke Daniels has been nails in front of the net as he continued to give his team a two goal cushion in the waning minutes of the game.
The Baggies are in clock killing mode as they are running out the last few minutes of the game clock whilst the Republic continues to play their hearts out in an attempt to put another goal or two on the board. Sacramento is unable to score in the extra minutes as time has ran out and West Bromwich Albion F.C. wins by the score of 3-1. The Republic F.C. should be proud by with the fact that they have played two good games with an English Premier League football club. Sacramento Republic F.C. should take in these three friendlies with U.K. Association Football Clubs as a learning lesson in aggressive but clean play.