Photo courtesy Liza Rosales / Orange County SC
IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County SC kept its season alive following a 3-1 win over Sacramento Republic FC at Champions Soccer Field at OC Great Park on Wednesday night. Orange County SC opened the scoring in the 26th minute after some nice work from Zach Kobayashi saw him hit a powerful shot, bouncing down off the underside of the crossbar, allowing Rodrigo Pacheco to run in and score the tap in on the rebound. Just three minutes later Republic FC could have equalized as Villyan Bijev made a great run, beating three defenders and shooting, and like Kobayashi his shot bounced off the bar and down, but this time no players were following up, allowing Orange County to clear. In the 43rd minute a well worked free-kick drew Sacramento on level terms as low pass from James Kiffe fooled the Orange County defense, allowing Bijev to lay off a perfect ball for Sammy Ochoa to run on to and bury the shot across the face of goal and into the left corner. After Sacramento controlled much of the second half, Orange County restored its lead as Dusan Stevanovic saw his effort deflected right back into his path, allowing him time and space to fire a half-volley into the left corner of the net for what proved to be the game-winner. In stoppage time OCSC sealed the match when Jerry van Ewijk got on the end of Irvin Parra’s pass and sent his finish past Republic FC goalkeeper Evan Newton and into the back of the net for the 3-1 win.
27’ – OC – Rodrigo Pacheco
43’ – SAC – Sammy Ochoa (Villyan Bijev)
80’ – OC – Dusan Stevanovic
90+' – OC – Jerry van Ewijk (Irvin Parra)
#OCvSAC: Full Match and Opta Box Score
Three Things That Matter:
1. Needing a win to stay alive in contention for the USL Cup Playoffs, Orange County SC did just enough to keep its slim hopes alive. While OCSC will still need help to qualify for the postseason for a third consecutive season, it has upheld its end of the bargain by managing a big win against its California rivals.
2. Republic FC could have sealed its place in the USL Cup Playoffs with a draw, but gave that position away with just 20 minutes to play. Despite that, Sacramento will have two more chances to get the point needed to continue its perfect record of qualifying for the USL Cup Playoffs in its history.
3. Only managing to get two of its 15 shots on target (13.3%), Sacramento was punished for its poor shooting accuracy. By comparison, Orange County SC had five shots on target from just nine total shots for a 55.6 percent shooting accuracy rate, which ended up making the difference as the race for the playoffs took another turn.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Rodrigo Pacheco, Orange County SC – While he may have been fortunate to get the goal, Pacheco was robbed an assist on the second goal after the deflection off a defender before Dusan Stevanovic's finish. Pacheco’s goal would be deserved for his strong effort throughout the match, proving a thorn in the side of the Republic FC defense all match. On top of the goal for his smart run Pacheco managed to complete 90 percent of his passes in the match, managing 20 throughout the match as he was the key to the Orange County victory.
Orange County SC vs. Reno 1868 FC – October 7, 10 p.m. ET, Champions Soccer Stadium at OC Great Park
Sacramento Republic FC at Colorado Springs Switchbacks – October 7, 8 p.m. ET, Weidner Field