Another warm night out here at Bonney Field as the Sacramento Republic F.C. prepare to face the English Premier League’s West Bromwich Albion F.C. This is the first of two scheduled “friendlies” between the football clubs. The Baggies (Albions' nickname) are in their fourth game of the 2014-2015 Preseason and have been undefeated so far with a record of 2-0-1. This is the first game in the United States for the Albion as they will play a series of “friendlies” against other football clubs in North America.
The game started out with the Albion dominating the game on the pitch. The Republic have held on so far and have kept them out of the goal until the 13th minute when an Albion midfielder Graham Dorrans scored with a rocket shot pass goalie Jake Gleeson to give West Bromwich a 1-0 lead. The Baggies have looked very impressive with their slideblocking, quick passes and swiftness on the pitch sometimes leaving the Republic players looking befuddled. But Sacramento to their credit have been very competitive and have been matching them play-for-play.
Sacramento has been attacking the Albion goal and they have been putting pressure on their defense late in the half but missed several scoring opportunities. In the waning minutes of the first half, Sacramento has been making another late push to try and tie but the Albion have been playing nails on defense whilst pushing the Republic back. The Baggies have received two yellow cards late in the first half but Sacramento has been unable to capitalize. Albion’s goalie has been a stonewall in front of the net as he has saved several shots from the Republic’s attackers as the half ends with West Bromwich leading Sacramento 1-0.
The second half started off with a substitution in goalie for the Sacramento Republic with Dominik Jakubek replacing Jake Gleeson. West Bromwich came out of the gate controlling the ball for the first few minutes but missed a shot-on-goal. Sacramento tried to move it past mid-pitch but were stifled by the attacking Albion offense. The Republic has hung in with the more experienced West Bromwich whose goalie continues to be a stonewall in front of the net as he has withstood a continued barrage of shot-on-goals from the Republic attackers.
The Baggies’ defense has been of the thick of it in the middle of the second as the Republic continues to attack their goal. No matter what Sacramento throws at Albion they have successfully defended every single shot-on-goal attempt. Sacramento attempts to make a late run to score an equalizer in the waning minutes of the game. They have a man advantage due to Craig Gardner receiving his second yellow card of the game and was given the boot.
West Bromwich has seem to have turn it up a notch as they want to leave Bonney Field with a win over the host team. The Republic has refused to give up as two minutes have been added to the game. Sacramento is out to try and score an equalizer in the final minute to tie it up. The Baggies have seem to shut down Sacramento’s strikers as the game’s final seconds tick away.
Albion defeats the Republic by the score of 1-0 and they improve their preseason record to 3-0-1 whilst Sacramento falls to 0-3 in international friendly play.