Photo courtesy of Sacramento Republic FC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After eliminating Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake in the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Sacramento Republic FC had to grind it out for a result Saturday resuming league play. After conceding an early goal, Sammy Ochoa tallied an equalizer and Agustin Cazarez provided the winner in the 74th minute of a 2-1 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 before a sellout crowd of 11,569 at Papa Murphy’s Park. Ochoa scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season to begin the rally. Terran Campbell had WFC2’s lone goal in the fifth minute. With the win, Republic FC improves to 5-6-3 (18 points) overall and 3-1-1 at home. Vancouver drops to 4-7-3 (14 points) overall and 2-5-1 on the road.
5’ – VAN – Terran Campbell (Ben McKendry)
12’ – SAC – Sammy Ochoa
74’ – SAC – Agustin Cazarez (Trevin Caesar)
#SACvVAN: Full match and Opta box score
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Sacramento Head Coach Paul Buckle made a number of attack-minded subs either at halftime or early in the second half to try to gain an advantage. One of them was Trevin Caesar, and while he didn’t tally a goal of his own, Caesar did provide the dropback to set up a winner. The go-ahead tally came in the 74th minute on a strong buildup starting with goalkeeper Evan Newton’s free kick, which deflected to Tyler Blackwood. Blackwood megged his defender, crossed from the right. WFC2 got a touch, and Caesar alertly poked the ball back to Agustin Cazarez who slotted the ball into the right of the frame for a 2-1 advantage.
2. With Sacramento midfielder Danny Barrera serving a one-game suspension, Gabe Gissie earned his first start this season and certainly was a focal point having to fill those types of shoes. Gissie had a couple moments in the attacking end, but it was a defensive lapse that stood out early, when he was sucked into the center during WFC2’s first-half score. Ben McKendry crossed from the right to find a wide-open Terran Campbell. Campbell had time to collect and shoot to the near upper left corner of the frame to take a 1-0 lead. For Campbell, it is his second goal of the season. While WFC2 didn’t have too much possession in the first half, the club did put three of its four shots on frame in the opening 45 minutes. Gissie was subbed out for Dan Trickett-Smith to open the second half.
3. Vancouver captain and center back Sem de Wit had multiple first-half interactions with Republic FC striker Sammy Ochoa. In the 12th minute, de Wit had his pocket picked by Ochoa, who went one-on-one with WFC2 goalkeeper Spencer Richey and tied the score at 1-1 with his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Ochoa and Richey later would tangle toward the end of the first half, with Ochoa falling down in the box in the 44th minute, hopeful for a penalty kick opportunity. Referee Michael Zapata ruled without hesitation that it was a clean play as the two sides went into halftime tied at the break. Ochoa, too, only played in one half for Buckle’s side as Caesar entered the match to open the second half.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Trevin Caesar, Sacramento Republic FC – A sub to open the second half, Caesar provided some needed energy into the attacking third and set up the winning goal by Agustin Cazarez.
Sacramento Republic FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC – June 21, 11 p.m. ET, Papa Murphy’s Park
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. OKC Energy FC – June 24, 6 p.m. ET, Thunderbird Stadium