battles

Villyan Bijev battles for the ball with an OKC player Sept. 22.

Republic FC remains unbeaten in their last four matches and pick up a point in the hunt for a home playoff game following Sunday’s 0-0 draw on the road to OKC Energy FC.

The result keeps Sacramento firmly in control of fifth place in the Western Conference with 44 points from 29 matches, only one point off the fourth and the final playoff-hosting spot.

 Simon Elliott’s men have now registered a dozen clean sheets in league play this season (T-4th in USL) and 14 in all competitions. This was goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth’s third shutout with the club since joining from Minnesota United FC in August.

Though the Indomitable Club couldn’t break the deadlock, the visitors produced a collection of goal scoring chances and outshot OKC 21 to 6.

The first opportunity came from defender Juan Barahona who fired an attempt on target but a diving save from Energy FC’s Cody Laurendi prevented the boys in Old Glory Red from taking an early lead in the sixth minute. First half headers from Thomas Enevoldsen and Drew Skundrich were also denied by the OKC goalkeeper who finished the match with seven saves.

A left-footed effort from Villyan Bijev in the 63rd minute also couldn’t beat the league leader in saves this season, leaving the game locked at nil-nil. By holding the hosts to a goose egg, the boys in Old Glory Red currently boasts the third-best defense in the Western Conference, having only surrendered 31 goals all season.

Republic FC will look to continue their push for a playoff-hosting seed when El Paso Locomotive FC visits Papa Murphy’s Park on Saturday, Sept. 28. Kickoff for Noche Latina Night is set for 7:30 p.m. PT.