Republic FC saw its 2016 USL unbeaten and shutout streaks end Sunday in a 1-0 loss at the Portland Timbers 2.
Portland’s Kharlton Belmar stripped defender Derek Foran of the ball and sent a bending 20-yard blast past goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek into the right corner less than 30 seconds into the second half. That ended Sacramento’s scoreless streak to open the USL season at 315 minutes.
The Timbers 2 (1-3-0) then held off an unrelenting attack from Republic FC (2-1-1), even when Sacramento went a man down in the 75th minute because of an ejection.
Republic FC had 12 shots, including four on goal, but were shut out for the second consecutive match.
Even the help of San Jose Earthquakes loan players Tommy Thompson and Adam Jahn wasn’t enough. The popular area duo stayed behind in Portland after being with the Earthquakes on Saturday night, though neither played in San Jose’s 3-1 loss to the Timbers. Both entered Republic FC’s match at the start of the second half.
Thompson brought energy and produced a number of dangerous chances, none greater than his wide-open shot in the middle of the box from a James Kiffe cross. Portland goalkeeper Wade Hamilton partially deflected the shot with his arm while diving to his left.
As the ball rolled behind him a yard from the goal, Hamilton scrambled to his right and dived on it just before a sliding Jahn arrived and tried to kick the ball into the net.
Jahn got more than a foul after the collision. He was shown a straight red card, and Sacramento played the remainder of the match with 10 men.
Portland’s defense also made two remarkable saves in the 62nd minute, both on Thompson attempts. His bicycle kick on frame inside the box was headed away from the goal line by Brent Richards. Nick Besler then cleared another Thompson shot when Cameron Iwasa crossed Richards’ flick back into the box.
The news wasn’t all disappointing for Republic FC on Sunday. Edward Christopher Buckle, the son of coach Paul Buckle and his wife, Rebecca Lowe, was born shortly before the match. Buckle has been with Lowe in Connecticut since early last week awaiting their son’s arrival. He was due April 11.
Republic FC assistant head coach Adam Smith led the squad against the Timbers 2.