It's a nice cool evening out here at Bonney Field as the Republic F.C. prepare to take the pitch and face the unbeaten Orlando City S.C. Tonight is Military Night and several uniformed servicemen and women are on hand to show the country’s colors out on the middle of the pitch for the pre-game festivities. The high powered Orlando City Lions Soccer Club is going to try and blow this game wide open in the first half and it’s up to the Republic F.C. defense and goalie Jake Gleeson to keep the Lions out of the net. Sacramento needs to play near perfect if they want to stay in the game.
Orlando City set the tempo of the by controlling the ball first and quickly driving down the pitch to almost score but thanks to the quick hands of Gleeson the striker was denied. Sacramento however managed to drive drown the pitch with ease as well and penetrated the Lions’ defense a few times but were unable to capitalize. Sacramento’s defense held on strong and their strikers managed to attempt a few shot-on-goals but still were kept out of the net. Both teams moved the ball effectively but neither of them were able to punch it in.
As the game moved into the final half of the first, both teams had several opportunities to score but both goalies held firm behind the net whilst the defenses have been solid on both sides of the pitch. Ian Fuller the assistant head coach for Orlando City S.C. was very animated in his displeasure with the referees and the play of his team as he brooded along the sidelines. The Republic players Adam Jahn and Octavio Guzman received two yellow cards in the game so far due to aggressive play putting them at the risk of getting a red card and a loss of a player. The first half ends with the game tied at 0-0. Sacramento made a late push to score but Lions' goalie Miguel Gallardo made a great save in traffic during the extra minutes.
Sacramento opened the half by driving the ball down the pitch in an attempt for a quick score but Orlando City’s goalie was quick on his feet and made the two handed save. The Lions however have been pressuring the Republic by attacking their defense and goal repeatedly but still were unable to score. Every time Sacramento manages to move down the pitch to set up a score, Orlando City’s defense has risen to the occasion and stifled their attackers. The Tower Bridge Battalion have been very vocal as they rally the crowd to cheer on the home team. The second half dragged along as both teams continued to keep each other out of the net. Play on the pitch is getting chippy as both teams are starting to play more aggressive with one another as late in the second half Sacramento received a red card (issued to Max Alvarez) in the 79th minute and was summarily ejected.
A yellow card was issued to Orlando City S.C. for tripping. Down a player due to the red card, Sacramento continued to pressure the Lions defense but unethical play from Orlando City caused another player from the Republic to receive a yellow card (issued to Rodrigo Lopez). Miguel Gallardo continues to be a stonewall in front of the Lions’ net as he fended off the Republic’s strikers. Orlando City made a late push down the pitch in the waning minutes of the game in a concerted effort to make a late game winning goal.
Jake Gleeson continues to make save after save in front of a striker onslaught. He’s played his best game of the year so far against the top team in the league. Another yellow card was issued to Sacramento as the game goes into extra minutes still tied at 0-0. It has been a great defensive battle between two of the USL Pro’s best teams as both goalies have played their hearts out as the game ends in a 0-0 tie. The top dog in the USL Pro was unable to leave the capitol city without a win and The Republic held their own and didn't lose.
Sacramento will host the Scottish Rangers F.C. this Saturday night at Bonney Field. This game will be a friendly as the Republic will get a taste of association football. For more information about the upcoming matchup please visit http://www.sacrepublicfc.com.