Sacramento Republic FC end the longest road trip of the season with a 0-2 loss to El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday night at Southwest University Park.
After an early El Paso goal, Rafael Diaz made back-to-back close-range saves in the 15th minute to keep the Boys in Old Glory Red in the game. SRFC faced plenty of pressure in the opening 20 minutes, but the Indomitable Club’s defense held strong on a compact field to keep Locomotive FC at bay.
The buildup from the back would lead to chances for the Boys in Old Glory Red. Kharlton Belmar delivered a ball to Jaime Villarreal, whose right-footed shot to the center of the box in the 30th minute sparked the offense. Chavez made his first start of the season and closed out the night with 13 touches and a 100 percent passing accuracy in 45 minutes.
Physical play from Dan Casey managed to tamp down one of the league’s most energetic attacking fronts. Early on and throughout the match, Casey sacrificed his body to shield and shepherd the ball across the end line or earn a header to redirect play.
After El Paso found a second goal 11 minutes out of halftime, the Indomitable Club pressed the West Texas club through the end of the match. In the 60th minute, Republic FC nearly pulled on back after Jaime Villarreal served a free kick into the heart of El Paso’s defense, only to be pushed over the crossbar. Maalique Foster’s first touch off the bench a minute later was a one-on-one situation in front of the right post that would be ruled offside.
Foster’s urgency was on display once more in the 78th minute, diving in front of the El Paso backline with a header wide of the right post. And once again in the 88th minute, the streaking forward would create another opportunity when he broke the backline, only to be pulled down in the box by El Paso’s goalkeeper. Darek Formella would step to the penalty spot, but could not convert, leaving Sacramento scoreless on the night.
The Indomitable Club returns home from its longest road trip of the season on Saturday, Sept. 18 to host San Antonio FC at 7:30 p.m.