Photo Courtesy E. Castillo/Sacramento Republic FC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC had to come from behind but managed to continue their domination of LA Galaxy II in a 2-1 win in front of a sellout crowd of 11,569 fans at Papa Murphy's Park on Saturday night. It took just 10 seconds for the Galaxy II to hit the lead as Alejandro Covarrubias sent a ball over the top which came to Ethan Zubak in space, and the 2017 USL 20 Under 20 selection hit a powerful shot across the face and in to the back of the net for the fastest goal in USL history. Sacramento’s relentless attack finally paid off in the 26th minute as Luis Espino Vazquez scored on his debut, flicking home a header off a cross from the right by Sammy Ochoa. Sacramento took the lead in the 62nd minute as Villyan Bijev ran to find space, and hit a powerful strike from 25 yards out, leaving Galaxy II goalkeeper Eric Lopez with no chance. Zubak went agonizingly close to adding his second in the third minute of the second half as his one-time strike could only find the side netting. Sacramento controlled the ball throughout the match, starving Los Dos of scoring chances and find a way back into the game overall.
1’ – LA – Ethan Zubak
26’ – SAC – Luis Espino (Sammy Ochoa)
62’ – SAC – Villyan Bijev
Three Things That Matter:
1. Zubak’s goal after just 10 seconds is the fastest goal in USL history, almost twice as fast as the previous record, 18 seconds, held by Jordan Hamilton for his strike in 2014 for Wilmington Hammerheads FC against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
2. The Galaxy II have now managed to score in six straight matches, but despite that have fallen three times in that run as Los Dos continued to slide out of playoff contention. The club's goals have come on the back of some clinical finishing from the Galaxy II's front line, which has the second-highest shooting accuracy in the league, sitting at 55.49 percent.
3. Republic FC held almost all of the possession after going behind in the first minute, holding 60.4 percent of the ball in the contest. By dictating the pace of the game, and the areas the battle would be drawn, Republic FC went on to claim a second consecutive victory and bolster its claim to a place in the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season while also continuing its good record against the Galaxy II.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Villyan Bijev, Sacramento Republic FC – Scoring the winner capped a strong performance from Bijev, who managed three shots on target, won five duels, and managed a passing accuracy rate of 83.3 percent.
Sacramento Republic FC vs. OKC Energy FC – September 23, 10:30 p.m. ET, Papa Murphy’s Park
LA Galaxy II at Tulsa Roughnecks FC – September 23, 8 p.m. ET, ONEOK Field