Rafael Diaz made a last-minute diving save to preserve Republic FC’s clean sheet and help Republic FC record a point from their Wednesday night matchup against Las Vegas Lights FC at Papa Murphy’s Park.
The boys in Old Glory Red managed to carve out a number of decent chances, but couldn’t quite find the finishing touches. Defensively, however, there were positives to take away as Republic FC recorded their fourth shutout from their past seven games.
SRFC’s first real chance came in the 22nd minute when a trio of headers ricocheted from Sam Werner to Stefano Bonomo and lastly to Cameron Iwasa whose final touch went directly into the hands of the former Republic FC keeper Thomas Olsen.
Ten minutes later, Iwasa had his second scoring chance of the half after receiving a perfectly weighted through ball from Jaime Villarreal, but his shot was saved by a diving Olsen.
In the 80th minute, defender Juan Barahona whipped in a cross from the far left flank that found an open Werner who pushed his header just over the crossbar.
Republic FC held the Sin City club to just a single shot on target across 90 minutes. The lone chance for Eric Wynalda’s side came in the closing moments, which a diving Rafa Diaz brushed to the side and preserved the clean sheet. The shutout was the first for Diaz this season.
Wednesday’s match also saw the debut of Polish playmaker and new Republic FC signing Dariusz Formella who entered the match in the 77th minute and looked bright during his time on the pitch.
The draw places Republic FC seventh in the Western Conference with 31 points from 22 games played. Next up for the club is a home bout against Colorado Springs Switchbacks next Saturday, Aug. 17.
Sacramento Republic FC announced on Aug. 12 the signing of forward Thomas Enevoldsen to a USL Championship contract for the remainder of the 2019 season with a club option for the 2020 season, pending league and federation approval.
“We are very pleased to add a player of Thomas’ caliber to our squad at this stage of the season,” said Republic FC General Manager Todd Dunivant. “His experience at the highest level, and particularly in the USL Western Conference, will strengthen our attack in a major way.”
Enevoldsen arrives in Sacramento after spending the first half of the 2019 season with USL Championship side Indy Eleven, netting five goals and recording two assists from 20 appearances.
The 32-year-old striker is currently in his second year in the USL after spending the 2018 season with Orange County SC where he finished the year as the league’s Golden Boot Runner-Up with 20 goals and 10 assists. His performances earned him selection into the 2018 USL Championship All-League First Team and placed him as one of the USL Championship MVP finalists.
Enevoldsen started his professional career in 2007 at Aalborg BK in the Danish Superliga where he won a league title and featured in the UEFA Cup, notably scoring against English Premier League Side Tottenham Hotspur FC at White Hart Lane. He then had stints with FC Groningen (Eredivisie), KV Mechelen (Belgian Pro League) and NAC Breda (Eredivisie) between 2009-2018. During his time with FC Groningen, Enevoldsen featured in the UEFA Champions League, playing against storied sides such as Manchester United FC, Villarreal CF and Celtic FC.
A native of Aalborg, Denmark, Enevoldsen has represented his native country at the national team level. He scored his first international goal on May 27, 2010, in Denmark’s 2-0 win against Senegal and made an appearance in the 2010 FIFA World Cup as a substitute in Denmark’s 1-2 loss to Cameroon.
– Omar Gonzalez