Photo courtesy Douglas Taylor / Sacramento Republic FC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC and Rio Grande Valley FC played to a 0-0 draw on Saturday night in front of 11,569 fans at Papa Murphy’s Park. Sacramento had the better of the first half, and almost took the lead in the 23rd minute when Sammy Ochoa shot wide of the left post. RGVFC’s best chance of the first half arrived 11 minutes before the break as Ruben Luna headed high off a cross by Emilio Garcia, but Republic FC’s Tyler Blackwood forced a good save by Calle Brown five minutes later with a good shot toward the bottom-right corner. The Toros almost took the lead early in the second half as Sacramento’s Danny Barrera cleared off the line from Ivan Magalhaes’ header from a set piece. RGVFC continued to carry more of the play as the half progressed, but neither side was able to create many clear chances until 12 minutes to go when Republic FC substitute Christian Chaney forced a point-blank save from Toros goalkeeper Calle Brown. Sacramento again went close moments later as Blackwood had his initial shot saved by Brown, and Ochoa headed the rebound just wide of the left post. Sacramento defender Chris Christian almost grabbed a late winner off a free kick by Danny Barrera, only for Brown to save well, while the Toros’ Camilo Monroy clipped the top of the crossbar in stoppage time, but honors ended even as neither side was able to find the net.
Three Things That Matter:
1. The Toros weren’t always at their best in the first half as Republic FC carried more of the play, but the visitors came out impressively to start the second half and almost gained the lead as they caught Sacramento’s defense napping. A quick short corner set up a chance to deliver for Emilio Garcia on the right, and his ball found Ivan Magalhaes for a powerful header that was only denied by a goal-line clearance by Danny Barrera. Had he found the net, the goal would have capped a good overall performance by Magalhaes, with the center back also recording eight clearances and four interceptions to keep the hosts off the board.
2. 2016 PDL All-League selection Christian Chaney had to be patient for his first opportunity in the USL, but made a very positive impact as he came on for his USL debut with 15 minutes to go alongside Wilson Kneeshaw. Chaney first almost converted on a cross by James Kiffe from the left as a reflex stop by Toros goalkeeper Calle Brown kept him out, and then linked up play well to set up a chance for Tyler Blackwood a minute later. The forward line for Republic FC is a crowded one, but Chaney made a solid case to get into the conversation more regularly with his cameo performance.
3. A point apiece was likely a fair result for two teams that have seen a decent turnaround in form in the past few weeks. Sacramento’s late pressure could have been enough to earn it another home win, but Toros goalkeeper Calle Brown showed off his solid pedigree as he finished with four saves to record the shutout. With both still solidly in the Western Conference top eight, an entertainingly-played game allowed both Republic FC and the Toros to continue their recent undefeated streaks.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Ivan Magalhaes, Rio Grande Valley FC – The Toros’ center back put in a solid all-around performance, almost grabbing a goal while also putting in a strong shift defensively for the visitors.
Sacramento Republic FC at Reno 1868 FC – June 10, 10:30 p.m. ET, Greater Nevada Field
Rio Grande Valley FC at Reno 1868 FC – June 7, 10:30 p.m. ET, Greater Nevada Field