Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sammy Ochoa scored a pair of goals as Sacramento Republic FC notched a 4-0 victory against Orange County SC in front of sellout crowd of 11,569 fans at Papa Murphy’s Park on Saturday night. Orange County’s Duke Lacroix almost gave the visitors the lead in the 11th minute as he wove through the Sacramento defense, only for goalkeeper Evan Newton to deny his shot. Republic FC took the lead midway through the first half as a perfect ball over the top put Wilson Kneeshaw in on goal. Kneeshaw’s efforts were denied, but Sammy Ochoa followed up to shoot low into the net for his second goal of the season. Orange County had the better of possession, but Ochoa doubled Sacramento’s lead with a close-range finish after Kneeshaw’s effort from the right side of the penalty area was tapped home by the Mexican veteran. Nine minutes later Kneeshaw added a third as Tyler Blackwood’s chipped cross from the left was struck home on the half-volley, and Harry Williams wrapped up the victory with a goal in stoppage time to cap the display.
23’ – SAC – Sammy Ochoa
59’ – SAC – Sammy Ochoa (Wilson Kneeshaw)
68’ – SAC – Wilson Kneeshaw (Tyler Blackwood)
90+’ – SAC – Harry Williams (Danny Barrera)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Sacramento’s opening goal was a perfect illustration of what Danny Barrera brings to the club’s midfielder as he sprung the side into attack with a perfect pass to release Wilson Kneeshaw. Orange County’s defense and goalkeeper Charlie Lyon did well enough to deny the young English forward, but Sammy Ochoa again put himself in the right place to capitalize and ensure Barrera’s initial piece of creativity didn’t go to waste.
2. Orange County had more possession during the contest, and attempted more passes, but outside of a few occasions the side didn’t provide quite enough menace in the final third as Republic FC goalkeeper Evan Newton had to record only one save, in the first half from Duke Lacroix. OC attacking midfielder Carlos Alvarez performed efficiently on the night, but was limited from finding much incisiveness by a solid defensive display by Sacramento’s defense.
3. By contrast, while Sacramento had less possession, it was much more ruthless in how it used it. Sammy Ochoa had a pair of goals, but it was the performance of Wilson Kneeshaw that played arguably the biggest role in Sacramento’s attacking success. Kneeshaw’s willingness to test the Orange County defense and make strong runs for the duration of his night was rewarded with his first goal of the season, a strike he took with aplomb to wrap up the three points.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Wilson Kneeshaw, Sacramento Republic FC – Kneeshaw played a role in all three of Republic FC’s goals, officially recording a goal and assist as Sacramento swooped for all three points.
Sacramento Republic FC at Tulsa Roughnecks FC – April 8, 8 p.m. ET, ONEOK Field
Orange County SC at Portland Timbers 2 – April 8, 10 p.m. ET, Providence Park