SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC grabbed a late equalizer through Dariusz Formella with three minutes to go but was unable to find a winner as it played to a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy II on Wednesday night at Heart Health Park after Preston Judd had given the visitors the lead just before the hour-mark.
The hosts almost got off to a flying start as in the third minute Maalique Foster broke onto a through ball and beat Los Dos goalkeeper Justin vom Steeg to claim possession outside the penalty area, but the Jamaican’s effort from the left side toward the open net slid agonizingly wide of the right post. Judd almost went close for the visitors in the eighth minute as a giveaway in the Republic FC half allowed Jorge Hernandez to set up his teammate for a shot in the right side of the box that he fired wide of the far post.
Foster threatened again in the 12th minute as he found space to shoot from the right side of the penalty area but had a low effort to the far corner turned away by Vom Steeg. That proved the last notable chance of the first half as both defenses began to take control, but five minutes after the break Los Dos almost found the breakthrough as Hernandez gained possession on the right edge of the penalty area and cut inside past his defender for a shot that Sacramento’s Carlos Saldana had to parry wide of the right post.
The Galaxy II took the lead in the 57th minute, though, as Josh Drack sent a long pass upfield for Judd that the forward controlled moving into the left side of the penalty area while holding off a defender and then fired into the right corner of the net. Republic FC thought it had answered six minutes later as Cameron Iwasa turned home a finish from close range after Dan Casey headed goalward from a corner kick on the right by Petteri Pennanen, only for the offside flag to be raised.
Pennanen had a chance of his own midway through the half with a low shot from the right that flashed just wide of the far post and beyond the reach of Foster as he tried to clean up at close range. Foster was then ruled offside with 20 minutes to go as he received a pass before centering for a tap-in finish by Iwasa that was again ruled out.
Los Dos had a chance to add an insurance goal with 13 minutes to go as Remi Cabral broke upfield on a counterattack and shot low to the right corner from 20 yards only to see Saldana make a good low save. That proved key in the 87th minute as the hosts leveled when Emil Cuello took a powerful long-range shot that Vom Steeg could only turn onto his crossbar, and the rebound fell to Formella to tuck home from inside the six-yard area.
Los Dos almost grabbed all three points with the final chance of the game as in the sixth minute of stoppage time they were awarded a free kick to the left of center, 25 yards from goal. Hernandez stepped up and curled a fine left-footed shot to the top-left corner only for Saldana to get across his goal and save, and that left honors even between the longtime rivals after another memorable meeting.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Luis Felipe Fernandes, Sacramento Republic FC – Fernandes was industrious throughout in the center of midfield, winning 16 of 24 duels and completing 62 of 71 passes as he won possession and linked play well for the hosts.
LA – Preston Judd (Josh Drack) 57’
SAC – Dariusz Formella 87’