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Gameday Report: March 24, Week 3

By SCOTT STEWART - scott.stewart@uslsoccer.com, 03/24/19, 3:00PM EDT

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Sacramento, Memphis earn wins; New York fights back to draw with Nashville

In the lone game out West, Sacramento Republic FC defeated OKC Energy FC by three goals thanks to a Cameron Iwasa hat trick for its second win of the season.

In the East, New York Red Bulls II fought back from down a goal against Nashville SC, and Memphis 901 FC picked up its first win in club history after beating Bethlehem Steel FC on the road.

BETHLEHEM STEEL FC (0), MEMPHIS 901 FC (1)

CHESTER, Pa. – Memphis 901 FC earned its first win in club history by squeezing past Bethlehem Steel FC in a tight match at Talen Energy Stadium. Neither side was able to create more than a few chances in the first half, with 901 FC’s Dan Metzger forcing a save from Steel FC goalkeeper Matthew Freese in the 20th minute and Steel FC’s Willis Chavany hitting the post in the 41st minute. 901 FC scored the lone goal of the game in the 58th minute when FC Cincinnati loanee Rashawn Dally beat the goalkeeper to a back pass and slotted in the second goal in the team’s history, which secured the win. 

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Ewin Grandison, Memphis 901 FC – Grandison’s work on the defensive side saw him collect five interceptions, and make two tackles and three clearances in the team’s first win.

SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC FC (4), OKC ENERGY FC (1)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC flexed its muscles in a 4-1 win over OKC Energy FC at Papa Murphy’s Park on Sunday. Scoring first in the 16th minute, forward Cameron Iwasa bagged the first of his three goals over the span of 11 minutes when he danced around the top of the penalty area and hit a hard effort from distance past Energy FC goalkeeper Bryan Byars. Five minutes later, Sacramento’s Stefano Bonomo was brought down by Byars inside the penalty area, leaving Iwasa to step up and score his second of the game from 12 yards out. Then, in the 27th minute, Iwasa completed his hat trick as Sacramento defender Mitchell Taintor swung in a cross that Iwasa volleyed into the bottom right corner. Facing a three-goal deficit, Energy FC responded with a goal of its own two minutes later when midfielder Rafael García intercepted a Sacramento pass and arrowed a shot into the bottom-left corner. However, momentum swung again in the 45th minute when Sam Werner’s deflected effort beat Byars for the team’s fourth and final goal of the night.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Cameron Iwasa, Sacramento Republic FC – Iwasa’s 11-minute hat trick was the difference maker on Sunday, but he also created three chances and registered an assist on Sam Werner’s goal to add to his impressive performance.

New york red bulls ii (1), nashville sc (1)

MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls II came from behind to hold Nashville SC to a draw at MSU Soccer Park. Just over twenty minutes in, Nashville's Daniel Rios was first off the mark when he pounced on a defensive mistake by Red Bulls II and rounded New York goalkeeper Evan Louro to produce a calm finish with his left foot. New York didn’t make Nashville SC goalkeeper Connor Sparrow’s life easy, though, and found their way back in the game in the 55th minute. Recovering the ball in the attacking third, New York’s Marcus Epps did well to take the ball to the byline before lining up a cross for Brian White to head home at the back post. New York nearly claimed all three points with six minutes to go following a well-worked set-piece routine that saw Edgardo Rito pick out Tom Barlow at the near post only for Barlow’s toe-poke to ricochet off the inside of the post and back into play. That would prove the last big chance as the sides finished even for a third consecutive meeting.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Cristian Cásseres Jr, New York Red Bulls II – Cásseres Jr created one chance and completed over 77 percent of his passes, also winning 14 of 19 duels and contributing four tackles in New York’s draw.

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