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Gameday Report: May 8, Week 10

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 05/08/19, 10:12PM EDT

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Republic FC hands Foxes first loss; Rowdies down Nashville, join Red Bulls II on top of East

Fresno FC suffered its first loss of 2019 at the hands of Highway 99 Derby rival Republic FC, while the Red Bulls II and Tampa Bay Rowdies now sit level on points atop the Eastern Conference, with Tampa Bay the last side to remain undefeated this campaign.

FRESNO FC (0), SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC FC (1)

FRESNO, Calif. – Sacramento took victory in the first Highway 99 Derby of the season as they ended the Foxes’ undefeated start to 2019. The Foxes had the majority of the play to open the game, but Republic FC took the lead in the 29th minute when Fresno goalkeeper CJ Cochran spilled a chance to gather in his penalty area to Sacramento’s Sam Werner, who calmly lifted a finish over the covering defenders and in off the right post. Fresno almost leveled just after halftime as Juan Pablo Caffa found the side-netting on a free kick from a tight angle on the right, while Sacramento’s Hayden Partain tested Cochran with a long range free kick in the 74th minute, but as the second half wore on the Foxes began to build more pressure. The hosts had an equalizer denied by the offside flag as Christian Chaney’s header from a free kick with 12 minutes to go found the back of the net, while Chaney fired over off a chance created by another free kick from Caffa. The Foxes also threatened through a low shot by Arun Basuljevic in the 86th minute, but Republic FC withstood the late pressure for a significant rivalry victory.

USLChampionship Man of the Match

Shannon Gomez, Sacramento Republic FC – Gomez won his individual battles consistently, going 10 of 12 in duels and aerials, while also linking up play well as he completed 23 of 26 passes.

NASHVILLE SC (0), TAMPA BAY ROWDIES (1)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A late first-half goal lifted to Rowdies to victory against Nashville before 6,628 fans at First Tennessee Park in the USL Championship Game of the Week on ESPN. Nashville got the first clear chance in the 16th minute but Kharlton Belmar sent his header wide of the right post after a good cross from the left by Taylor Washington. The Rowdies took the lead 11 minutes before the halftime break, however, as a floated free kick from the right by Leo Fernandes to the back post was headed back across goal by Sebastian Guenzatti was knocked home from close range by Juan Tejada. The Rowdies threatened from another set piece shortly after halftime, only for Fernandes’ curling effort to the top-right corner was comfortably saved by NSC goalkeeper Matt Pickens, while Fernandes found the side-netting in the 68th minute with a low finish after good work by Guenzatti to open up a chance from the left side of the penalty area. Nashville threatened an equalizer with 15 minutes to go as Daniel Rios fired a curling shot just wide of the right post, and the Mexican forward also headed just wide of the post after a good cross from the left by Justin Davis, but the Rowdies’ defense held firm to pick up its sixth shutout of the season.

USLChampionship Man of the Match

Tarek Morad, Tampa Bay Rowdies – Morad was composed in possession, didn’t commit a foul in the Rowdies’ back line and won 5 of 8 duels and two tackles to help his side claim a road shutout.

OTTAWA FURY FC (1), NEW YORK RED BULLS II (1)

OTTAWA – Jared Stroud scored a stoppage-time equalizer as the Red Bulls II extended their undefeated streak to three games with a draw against Fury FC before a crowd of 6,807 at TD Place. Fury FC took the lead in the sixth minute on a counterattack that saw Mour Samb get in on the left side and cut a low cross back to the top of the penalty area for Wal Fall to finish with a low first-time shot. Both goalkeepers were called on to make big saves before the halftime break as Ottawa’s Callum Irving denied a tight-angle chance for Jared Stroud and the Red Bulls II’s Evan Louro parried away a shot by Fury FC’s Kevin Oliveira, and Irving was called on again to make a fingertip save on a shot from 25 yards with 15 minutes to go to keep Ottawa ahead. As the game entered stoppage-time however, New York’s Janos Loebe got in behind the Ottawa defense on the left and cut back a low cross that was put home first-time by Stroud into the right corner to grab a late point for the visitors.

USLChampionship Man of the Match

Mour Samb, Ottawa Fury FC – Samb set up Fury FC’s opening goal and was an attacking threat for much of the contest, finishing with three key passes and four shots overall.

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