Photo courtesy L.E. Baskow / Las Vegas Lights FC
LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas Lights FC and Sacramento Republic FC played to a 1-1 draw before a crowd of 8,167 at Cashman Field on Saturday night as both teams remained undefeated to start the 2018 season. Lights FC struck in just the second minute as a near-post corner was flicked on by Miguel Angel Garduño found Joel Huiqui at the back post to bundle the ball home. Sacramento’s only clear chance of the first half saw Christian Eissele’s shot smothered by Las Vegas goalkeeper Ricardo Ferriño in the 33rd minute, but 12 minutes into the second half Eissele clipped home a corner kick to level things for Republic FC. The visitors went in search of a winner in the final 20 minutes, and both Jaime Villarreal and Adam Moffat forced saves from Ferriño in the Vegas goal, but Lights FC held firm to come away with a point after its early goal.
2’ – LV – Joel Huiqui (Miguel Angel Garduño)
57’ – SAC – Christian Eissele (Villyan Bijev)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Saturday’s game wasn’t the prettiest to watch, but the intensity both teams brought gave the game an added edge that could carry into future meetings between the clubs. As it stands, both leave the game as they entered it with an undefeated record, and both will likely be OK with that as neither was able to fully assert the type of possession and rhythm they would have been looking for in the first meeting between the teams.
2. Coming off a bye week, Las Vegas came out with plenty of jump that not only saw the side take the lead but also make it difficult for Sacramento to settle into the game. The goal itself by Joel Huiqui came off one of a number of clear set-piece routines worked by the hosts that made free kicks and corners the means by which Lights FC looked most likely to score from, but the flick of Miguel Angel Garduño on a low corner kick was what made Huiqui’s goal possible as Vegas’ left-sided center back turned the delivery into a goal-scoring chance.
3. Sacramento had the better of the game the more it progressed and created the better chances as the visitors recorded five shots on goal to two for its hosts. Republic FC certainly could have come away with more than a point from a game that lived up to the expectations of a tough scrap the visitors entered with but remaining undefeated and in touch with the Western Conference leaders will just about do.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Adam Moffatt, Sacramento Republic FC – Moffat was a solid presence in midfield throughout, winning 11 of 17 duels, and also recorded two key passes as the visitors pushed for victory.
Las Vegas Lights FC vs. San Antonio FC – April 27, 11 p.m. ET, Cashman Field
Sacramento Republic FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – April 18, 10:30 p.m. ET, H-E-B Park