Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Octavio Guzman’s stoppage-time penalty kick saw Sacramento Republic FC grab a 1-1 draw with San Antonio FC in front of a sellout crowd of 11,569 fans at Bonney Field on Saturday night. Sacramento had the better of the early going, but San Antonio took the lead in the 15th minute when a low shot by Sebastien Thuriere was saved by Sacramento goalkeeper Evan Newton, only for Cesar Elizondo to seize on the rebound and finish. Cameron Iwasa almost leveled the score for Republic FC on the half-hour mark, while James Kiffe forced a good save from SAFC goalkeeper Josh Ford early in the second half. As time appeared to be running out on the hosts, however, Sacramento was awarded a penalty kick for a foul on Kiffe in the penalty area, and Guzman squeezed a shot just past Ford to make it 1-1.
15’ – SA – Cesar Elizondo (Sebastien Thuriere)
90+’ – SAC – Octavio Guzman (PK)
Three Things That Matter:
1. San Antonio had to fight tooth and nail on Saturday night, but it will be very disappointed to have not held on for all three points after Sacramento’s stoppage-time penalty kick by Octavio Guzman was almost saved by goalkeeper Josh Ford. SAFC got a nice boost as it saw Costa Rican forward Cesar Elizondo score his first goal for the club, but now the club heads into another crucial clash next Saturday on the road against Arizona United SC wondering what might have been.
2. Back at home, Sacramento again put in a good performance, and finally earned a point in stoppage time thanks to the attacking presence of James Kiffe. The full back had the game-winning goal for his first USL goal on Tuesday night, and earned the penalty kick that was converted by Octavio Guzman on Saturday to salvage something as the side returned home after a five-game road trip. Republic FC might have been disappointed to not take all three points, and could have on another night, but with both Vancouver and the LA Galaxy II dropping points on Saturday night, Republic FC remained in touch as it moved into sole possession of third place in the Western Conference.
3. The battles we’re seeing in the Western Conference at this point of the season are setting the table for what could be remarkably unpredictability when the playoffs come around. After Republic FC’s dramatic draw with San Antonio, none of the top seven teams in the Western Conference are coming off a victory in their last outing, while Sunday’s game between Orange County and Arizona will now become even more crucial as the seven teams between sixth and 12th in the Western Conference are separated by only six points.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Octavio Guzman, Sacramento Republic FC – Guzman scored the late equalizer with his first goal this season, but also provided a driving force from midfield as Republic FC pushed hard in the second half to earn a point.
Sacramento Republic FC at Saint Louis FC – August 13, 8:30 p.m. ET, World Wide Technology Soccer Park
San Antonio FC at Arizona United SC – August 13, 10:30 p.m. ET, Peoria Sports Complex