Photo courtesy LA Galaxy II
CARSON, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC scored three goals in seven minutes in the first half, and then held off a second-half rally to earn a 3-2 victory against the LA Galaxy II on Sunday night at StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium. Sacramento (7-6-3, 24pts) took the lead in the 11th minute after a cross by James Kiffe was handled in the Galaxy II penalty area, and Jeremy Hall squeezed his penalty kick into the right corner as Eric Lopez got a hand to the shot, but couldn’t turn it aside. Two minutes later Republic FC almost added a second as Lopez made an excellent save to deny Danny Barrera’s shot to the top-left corner, but the Los Dos goalkeeper had little chance to save from Tyler Blackwood’s close-range header in the 14th minute off a precise cross by Agustin Cazarez. Trevin Caesar got in on the action four minutes later with a low finish after a cross from the right was blocked toward the top of the penalty area. The Galaxy II (3-9-2, 11pts) had the chance to pull a goal back midway through the first half after they were awarded a penalty kick, but Sacramento goalkeeper Evan Newton saved from Adonis Amaya. Blackwood almost added a fourth for Sacramento with a sharp volley, only for Lopez to react well and tip the effort over the bar. The Galaxy II fought back in the second half as Justin Dhillon’s fourth goal of the season pulled a goal back for the Galaxy II early in the 53rd minute on a good break forward, and Adrian Vera added a second with 20 minutes to go. Sacramento almost restored its two-goal lead with a minute to go through Gabe Gissie, only for Jean Engola to clear his shot off the line, but the visitors salted away the remainder of the game to move into third in the Western Conference standings.
11’ – SAC – Jeremy Hall (penalty)
14’ – SAC – Tyler Blackwood (Agustin Cazarez)
18’ – SAC – Trevin Caesar
54’ – LA – Justin Dhillon (Adonis Amaya)
70’ – LA – Adrian Vera
Three Things That Matter:
1. Sacramento got out to an ideal start to follow-up performance to its big midweek victory against Rio Grande Valley FC with three goals in the opening 20 minutes, but was made to sweat out its lead late to hold onto its third consecutive league victory. Things were going to according to plan thanks to Jeremy Hall’s penalty kick and good finishes by Tyler Blackwood and Trevin Caesar as the game looked to be in hand. That saw early departures for Danny Barrera and Caesar ahead of the side’s second game at StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium on Wednesday night in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, but those moves almost came back to haunt the side as it gave up two goals with plenty of time remaining, a reminder than nothing ever quite goes as easily as might be hoped.
2. The Galaxy II put up a spirited fightback, but the team’s disappointing first 45 minutes proved too big a hole to climb out of as Los Dos failed to build on their victory against Rio Grande Valley FC a week ago. If not for the efforts of goalkeeper Eric Lopez, in fact, Sacramento could have had an even more comfortable lead at the halftime break as the 18-year-old made a pair outstanding saves to keep the margin at three goals. Lopez’s performance, and the continued good play in attack of Justin Dhillon as he notched his fourth goal of the season, were the silver linings as Los Dos’ winless streak on home turf continued.
3. Republic FC has had a busy stretch of games since June 10, playing both midweek and on the weekend over the past two weeks including its Open Cup victory against Real Salt Lake on June 14, but with the way the side has been playing of late the upcoming week that sees the side face a huge opportunity in the historic knockout tournament and the league is one the team is surely eager for. Sacramento is on a four-game winning streak in all competitions, and with games against the Galaxy on Wednesday and second-place San Antonio FC at home on Saturday, Republic FC is well poised for both.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Jeremy Hall, Sacramento Republic FC – Hall scored the opening goal of the game, and acted as the connection point as Sacramento built consistently through the midfield.
LA Galaxy II vs. Swope Park Rangers – June 30, 10:30 p.m. ET, StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium
Sacramento Republic FC vs. San Antonio FC – July 1, 11 p.m. ET, Papa Murphy’s Park