Sacramento Republic FC put its best foot forward on both ends of the pitch on Saturday, playing Phoenix Rising FC to a 0-0 draw at Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex in Chandler, Arizona.
Saturday was the fourth clean sheet on the year for the Boys in Old Glory Red, snapping a 32-match scoring streak for Phoenix that dated back to 2019. Republic FC held Rising FC to 11 shots on the night – including only two on target – the second lowest for the Arizona side this season. The Indomitable Club cranked the pressure creating 15 opportunities on the night, forcing Phoenix’s keeper to make a season high 9 saves to preserve a point.
Offense from the Indomitable Club continued its early press, as Shannon Gomez made a trailing run into the box midway through the first half off a backheel from Kharlton Belmar. Jaime Villarreal made his second start back from injury with 36 touches in the first half and a team-high 16 passes in the attacking half. While finishing with 68 touches and an 80.4 pass completion rate on the offensive end, Villarreal stepped in front of a low cross in front of Gomez in the 33rd minute to interrupt a sure chance for Rising FC.
Republic FC’s aggressive press in the offensive third continued as Villarreal and the rest of the midfield rose to form. Mario Penagos went for goal following a 27th minute free kick, only to have his shot from outside the 18 pushed left. Minutes later, Villareal played a ball in the attacking midfield to Darek Formella, whose shot was deflected on its way to the net.
The Indomitable Club created two chances before the halftime break, both stemming from Penagos. The midfielder played a ball into the attacking half for a running Cam Iwasa, who found himself one-on-one with a defender but was unable to find the back of the net. Penagos also fired a shot off the post before both teams headed into halftime.
Chances continued into the second half, as Villarreal played a ball off in the 48th minute to midfield partner Penagos, whose right-footed chip went off the far post. A scorching set piece from Formella and a diving header from Iwasa, pressed Phoenix’s keeper into action to preserve the stalemate.
Republic FC allowed just three open play crosses and zero corner kicks in the closing 45 minutes while conversely earning 10 open play crosses and five corners.
With another crucial point in the Pacific Division race, the Indomitable Club returns to Heart Health Park on August 28 for an 8:00 p.m. kickoff against San Diego Loyal SC. Saturday’s matchup with the San Diego side will be broadcast on ESPN+.