Dariusz Formella’s brace and Tomas Hilliard-Arce opening his Sac Republic account could not secure three points for the squad in their return to the 2020 season.
The game started quickly, with a goal by Alec Diaz within the first minute of play. The play was set up by touch and go combinatiom passing down the left flank by midfielfer Azriel Gonzalez and left back Danny Reynolds, who sent the ball into the box for a onetimer by Diaz.
After the goal, the Republic seemed to have quelled the storm when after 7 minutes of strategic high pressing they got a break by forcing a turnover, going on a break, and gaining a penalty shot. Formella took the shot and netted it right past the keeper.
The second Republic goal of the night came in the 23’ from a corner kick that Hilliard-Arce was able to make a run into the box and get a header on for his first goal with the club.
Tacoma relinquished control in the first half, possessing the ball for 49% of the half but only getting off one shot on target and zero shots outside of the first minute. Tacoma really looked like they lacked the initiative.
Sacramento took advantage of the Defiance’s inability to break through the high press and push the ball into scoring positions sloppy clearances. One sloppy clearance the Republic turned into gold by just an easily collected ball by Mahoney and ping ponges around the back for a bit before the ball found Drew Skundrich who was able to sail it onto a charging Jordan McCrary who then laid it off for a goal by Formella.
The score was 3-1 at half and it looked 100% that Sacramento was going to stride out of PMP tonight with three points in their pocket. But, not so fast my friend. This was game was a tale of two halves.
In the first half, the Republic converted on chances they created and in the second half, it was missed opportunity after missed opportunity.
The Tacoma Defiance, on the other hand, embraced the moment. They took their chances and fought back to draw even with a better squad.
In the 57’ Jesse Daley scored a gnarly one timer that ricoched to him just outside the 18 yard box. It was a beautiful shot. He was ablw to run onto it hit it with the inaixe of his right foot, creating bend in the ball, and curl it into the top left of the net. Putting it into a place that Adam Grinwis couldn’t reach.
Tacoma’s third goal of the game came on a break away in the 81’. Really, just ugly play when midfielder Drew Skundrich took a heavy touch, trying to corrall a pass from Hilliard-Arce, and the ball squirted away from him. Danny Robles picked it off and went on a galloping towards the top of the 18’. When he got there, he laid the ball off to his right to an in stride Ray Lopez. Who absolutely crushed it near post past Grinwis.
This is the second time in as many games played this season that the club has given a late equalizer in a game that they should have won.
Next up on the Republic’s docket is Reno 1868 FC, Sunday, July 17 at 7pm.