Republic FC slips past AZ United SC in residence opener

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Source:   —  April 03, 2016, at 8:20 PM

Republic FC dominated the match from the beginning, but it remained scoreless as time was winding down. It called back to latest season when the team let a top finish in the Western Conference slip far by going scoreless in its latest two matches, followed by a 1-0 loss to LA Galaxy II in the playoff opener.

Republic FC slips past AZ United SC in residence opener

A Bonney Field record crowd of 11.569 may have been getting a tiny antsy during Saturday night’s Republic FC USL residence opener against AZ United SC.

Republic FC dominated the match from the beginning, but it remained scoreless as time was winding down.

It called back to latest season when the team let a top finish in the Western Conference slip far by going scoreless in its latest two matches, followed by a 1-0 loss to LA Galaxy II in the playoff opener.

But second-year forward Cameron Iwasa has a knack for the big stage.

The former Jesuit High School star entered in the eightieth min and scored four minutes later on a nifty assist by James Kiffe to lift Sacramento to a 1-0 win.

“I was buzzing to obtain on the field,” Iwasa said. “As a sub I wanted to just arrive on and create something happen. Fortunately I was able to do so. It’s a enormous win; three points is crucial.”

Latest summer Iwasa scored the lone goal in a 1-0 upset of English Premier League side Sunderland AFC, which ranks as the team’s most impressive friendly victory. It also was Paul Buckle’s debut as coach.

Iwasa’s right-footed blast from the top of the box came after Kiffe made a powerful running down the left side and split two defenders. Kiffe laid off the ball a few yards toward Iwasa just as his feet were taken out by an Arizona defender.

“James made a grand running down the line and played me in,” Iwasa said. “The defender was late to step, so I slice him on the inside, then just picked a spot and hit it low, hit it hard. It skipped tiny bit on the moist surface and saw the back of the net.”

The packed house, boisterous all night, went wild.

Republic FC (two-0-0) added new north- and west-side field seating during the offseason to produce the attendance record.

It also extended Republic FC’s USL Bonney Field sellout streak to twenty-seven matches, something that likely will be mentioned when Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber comes to Sacramento on April fourteen to evaluate the city’s readiness for MLS as an expansion franchise.

“Unbelievable,” Buckle said of the crowd. “The noise level was fantastic.”

Before Iwasa’s score, Republic FC peppered the goal throughout the match.

Sacramento outshot AZ United (1-2-0) 13-2 and had several close misses interior the box and two shots that also found the net. But neither counted, calls that Buckle criticized.

In the fifty-fifth minute, Danny Barrera hit a wide open Emrah Klimenta sprinting into an opening behind the AZ United defense along the right side. Klimenta looked as if he timed his running well and keep the ball past goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski. But he was ruled offside.

“When I look Emrah Klimenta, a brilliant move, miles onside, be dragged back and the goal being taken far from Sacramento, that’s disappointing,” Buckle said. “It wasn’t even close.”

In the thirty-sixth minute, San Jose Earthquakes loan player Label Sherrod finished a corner kick with a header past Woszczynski, but it was disallowed because of a foul in the box.

“I don’t look a foul on the goal,” Buckle said. “It’s a perfectly good goal.”

But Buckle was impressed about the resolve of his team and pleased that they were able to post another shutout. Republic FC won their league road opener 1-0 over the Seattle Sounders FC 2 on March 25.

“This is where we lift the bar,” Buckle said. “You saw a Sacramento team that ran from min one to minute ninety-five. That’s what we’re going to have to do because teams are coming in, sitting in, making it difficult. The biggest thing is we didn’t get sloppy.

“It was a work well done. We deserved to win the game. We attacked, attacked all night.”

Republic FC will play April ten at the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2.

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