Photo courtesy Orange County SC
IRVINE, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC needed just one opening to claim a 1-0 road win over in-state rival Orange County SC at Champions Soccer Stadium on Saturday night for a second consecutive win to start the season. Sacramento forward Cameron Iwasa used all of his skill to open the scoring in the 66th minute, turning his defender and then cutting inside to open up space, he finished the impressive move with a powerful strike that was too much for the goalkeeper. Orange County should have opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Sacramento goalkeeper Josh Cohen was caught rushing off his line, opening up a chance for OCSC but Cohen was bailed out well by his defense, blocking the shot from Orange County midfielder Koji Hashimoto. Orange County looked dangerous throughout the first half but just couldn’t break down a determined Sacramento defense, keeping it scoreless at the break. The task for Orange County got harder in the 76th minute when forward Michael Seaton was shown a straight red card following a collision with Cohen, and with a man-advantage Sacramento easily held on for the win.
66’ – SAC – Cameron Iwasa (Keven Aleman)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Sacramento was dangerous on the counterattack, an its goal came from such a counter move as Republic FC used its speed to exploit the open space, cutting in from the wings with sharp passing as Orange County became increasingly stretched, especially after the red card.
2. Despite having fewer shots, seven compared to Orange County’s 10, Sacramento looked more dangerous throughout the match largely due to its work on the wings. Sacramento managed a crossing accuracy of 42.9 percent, compared to Orange County’s 20 percent.
3. Sacramento was the better side in the air winning 58.6 percent of the aerial duels. With both teams often sending long balls forward that was a significant factor, allowing Sacramento to control the game.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Keven Aleman, Sacramento Republic FC – Aleman set up Iwasa’s goal, beginning the counter that would prove so crucial in the match. Aleman was lively all match, managing a passing accuracy of 82.4 percent with three crosses creating three big chances.
Orange County SC vs. OKC Energy FC – March 28, 8:00p.m. ET, Taft Stadium
Sacramento Republic FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC – March 31, 8:30p.m. ET, H-E-B Park