Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Jose Angulo had a goal and assist as OKC Energy FC took a 3-1 victory against Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 11,569 at Papa Murphy’s Park. Energy FC took the lead after just 45 seconds into the game as a low cross from the right by Alex Dixon found Angulo alone 12 yards from goal for a low finish. Angulo also played a role in the ninth minute as he released Jonathan Brown into the right side of the penalty area, and the Welsh forward found the bottom-left corner of the net. Brown almost added a third in the 15th minute when he rang a shot off the outside of the right post. Sacramento didn’t seriously challenge OKC goalkeeper C.J. Cochran until the 25th minute mark when a dipping shot by Villyan Bijev was tipped over the crossbar, and Cochran was called upon again three minutes before the break as Emrah Klimenta fired a low shot toward the bottom-left corner of the net. Republic FC defender James Kiffe also threatened in the 52nd minute as his low shot from 25 yards was saved by Cochran, but just before the hour-mark Kiffe’s corner kick found Emrah Klimenta for a header to halve the lead. Klimenta also just missed with a second chance from a corner in the 68th minute, but with seven minutes to go OKC put the game away as Miguel Gonzalez put home a finish to restore the two-goal lead and take a valuable victory on the road for Energy FC.
1’ – OKC – Jose Angulo (Jonathan Brown)
8’ – OKC Jonathan Brown (Jose Angulo)
59’ – SAC – Emrah Klimenta (James Kiffe)
83’ – OKC – Miguel Gonzalez (Wojciech Wojcik)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Despite being without both goalkeeper Cody Laurendi and defender Coady Andrews after the injuries they suffered on Wednesday night, Energy FC broke out early to pave the way to a victory that could be huge in the club’s pursuit of a third consecutive playoff berth. Jose Angulo’s goal and assist in the opening 10 minutes – including his opening goal inside the opening minute – were crucial to give the visitors confidence off the top as they pulled off a remarkable road victory.
2. For a second consecutive week Sacramento conceded inside the opening minute, but there was to be no comeback this time around as Republic FC’s two-game winning streak was brought to an end by a stellar display by Energy FC. After the rest of Saturday’s results, a place in the top four is now looking like a big ask for Sacramento, which will have to sharpen up as it prepares to host Western Conference-leader Real Monarchs SLC this Wednesday night.
3. Energy FC’s victory gave it a three-point lead on Orange County SC for the eighth and final place in the Western Conference postseason, with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC’s defeat earlier in the night seeming to make it a two-team race for the final spot in the postseason. With Energy FC now set to return home for its final three games of the season, with OKC having taken eight of its 11 wins in 2017 at Taft Stadium, chances look good that Head Coach Jimmy Nielsen’s side will find a way back to the playoffs.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Jose Angulo, OKC Energy FC – Angulo’s goal and assist in the opening 10 minutes were crucial to putting Wednesday’s loss away and setting up a massive road win for Energy FC.
Sacramento Republic FC vs. Real Monarchs SLC – September 27, 10:30 p.m. ET, Papa Murphy’s Park
OKC Energy FC vs. LA Galaxy II – October 1, 6 p.m. ET, Taft Stadium