The match was very well contested from the start with neither team asserting their dominance over the other. Roughnecks FC would have the first good look at goal in the 11th minute. Modou Jadama played Cristian Mata open down the middle of the pitch, giving Mata the one-on-one situation with Dominik Jakubek. Republic FC’s keeper did well though to cut off the angle and push Mata wide right, making the forward’s shot a difficult one. Mata took a strong shot from the right side of the box, but it went into the side of the net keeping the match scoreless early.
Republic FC had their best chance of the first half in the 36th minute on a counter attack led by Tyler Blackwood and Wilson Kneeshaw. Blackwood pushed the ball down the middle from the midline all the way to the top of the box before laying the ball off to Kneeshaw on his right. The forward had a good look at goal from the right side, but a sliding Roughnecks FC defender was there to block the ball away. A poor clearance gave Republic FC another chance however, with Danny Barrera attempting a header from the left side, but goalkeeper Bryan Byars was there for the save, keeping the match scoreless going into the half.
Republic FC came out quickly to begin the second half, scoring in the 48th minute. Kneeshaw received the ball near the top right corner of the box before sending it out wide to Elliott Hord who was making an overlapping run. Hord then sent a long ball into the box to Sammy Ochoa who jumped and headed back to top of the six-yard box where Kneeshaw chested down and slotted the ball past Byars and into the back of the net putting Republic FC ahead 1-0.
Republic FC continued their strong pressure in the second half and were rewarded again in the 67th minute. Barrera had the ball on the right side on the break before sending a cross toward the middle where Ochoa found himself open. After a bounce, Ochoa hit a one-touch right-footed blast toward goal that looked destined for the near post, that Byars’ saved but only to the waiting feet of Blackwood who followed the play perfectly and the forward simply tapped the ball into the goal, giving Republic FC the 2-0 lead.
Roughnecks FC would pull back a goal in the 80th minute. A corner by Juan Pablo Caffa was cleared after a play in the box, but only as far as Brady Ballew about 30 yards out in the middle of the pitch. Ballew hit a strong shot that hit the right corner of the cross bar, but fortunately for the Roughnecks, fell right to the feet of Joey Callistri who hit a strong shot back across goal and into the right side of the net making the score 2-1.
Despite a strong effort by Roughnecks FC to equalize, Republic FC’s defense held strong to see out the 2-1 victory and therefore remaining at the top of the USL Western Conference table. Republic FC continue their road stretch as they travel to take on Oklahoma City Energy FC on Tuesday, Apr. 11. Kickoff is 5 p.m. PT at Taft Stadium. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/match-guide. Updates will also be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC and using #OKCvSAC.
Scoring Summary: SAC – Wilson Kneeshaw (Sammy Ochoa) 48, Tyler Blackwood 67; TUL – Joey Calistri 80.
Misconduct Summary: SAC – Emrah Klimenta (caution) 14; TUL – Francisco Ugarte (caution) 42, Jaime Ayala (caution) 63, Juan Pablo Caffa (caution) 77.
Sacramento Republic FC – Dominik Jakubek; Elliott Hord (Chris Christian 75), Emrah Klimenta, Jeremy Hall, James Kiffe; Adam Moffat, Danny Barrera, Agustin Cazarez, Tyler Blackwood (Daniel Trickett-Smith 88); Wilson Kneeshaw, Sammy Ochoa (Harry Williams 79).
Subs Not Used: Evan Newton; Julius James, Gabe Gissie, Trevin Caesar.
Stats: Shots: 16, Shots on Goal: 7, Saves: 4, Fouls: 10, Corner Kicks: 2, Offside: 1.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC – Bryan Byars; Kosuke Kimura, Francisco Ugarte (Brady Ballew 57), Bradley Bourgeois (Matej Dekovic 54), Jorge Corrales; Mo Jadama, Jaime Ayala (Ian Svantesson 71), Joaquin Rivas, Joey Callistri, Juan Caffa; Cristian Mata.
Subs Not Used: Fabian Cerda; Pasha Kondrakhin.
Stats: Shots: 14, Shots on Goal: 5, Saves: 5, Fouls: 12, Corner Kicks: 4, Offside: 5.