Republic FC rallies for 1-1 tie at Arizona

Mackenzie Pridham’s goal on a Danny Barrera cross in the 90th minute rallied Republic FC to a 1-1 draw with Arizona United SC on Saturday night in Peoria, Ariz.

The tie extended Republic FC’s (7-3-4, 25 points) USL unbeaten streak to eight games, second best in franchise history. Arizona United (4-5-5, 17 points) is unbeaten in its last four league matches.

Pridham, a forward who subbed in at the 62nd minute, beat late-arriving Arizona United goalkeeper Jordan Stagmiller with a header in the middle of the penalty area from Barrera’s well-placed assist in the waning minutes of the game.

Sacramento’s comeback ruined a strong individual performance by Arizona United forward Tyler Blackwood. The England native made a dramatic header save on Cameron Iwasa’s shot late in the first half, then scored early in the second half to put Arizona United up 1-0.

Iwasa took Harry Williams’ through ball in the 41st minute, slipped past the diving Stagmiller and fired a left footer from seven yards away that the backpedaling Blackwood headed off his team’s goal line.

Then in the 54th minute, Blackwood took down a long flighted ball behind Republic FC defender Emrah Klimenta on the back post, cut the ball to his right foot and put a well-placed shot past goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek from six yards away.

Sacramento had a great shot at equalizing in the 69th minute when a cross by Klimenta to Pridham was blocked by Stagmiller. But Pridham’s rebound shot was accidentally blocked by teammate Octavio Guzman, standing in front of the goal, as he tried to redirect the ball into the net.

Arizona United had its best first-half chance to score in the 19th minute when Blackwood made a long run, beat several Republic FC defenders and laid the ball off to a wide open Long Tan inside the top of the box. But Jakubek came off his line to block the ball away with his body.

The temperature was 104 degrees at the Peoria Sports Complex at the start of the game. Officials stopped the match twice in each half to give the players a water break.

Republic FC played shortly after Colombia defeated the United States in the Copa America Centenario third-place game nine miles down the road at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

Bill Paterson: 916-326-5506, @SacBee_BillP