SACRAMENTO, Calif. (March 24, 2019) — Four first-half goals, including Cameron Iwasa’s first career hat trick, gave Sacramento Republic FC a 4-1 win over OKC Energy FC at Papa Murphy’s Park on Sunday afternoon.
A strong start from the home side saw Iwasa find space just outside the box, evading his defender with a well-timed fake before firing off a shot past a diving Bryan Byars to open the score in the 16th minute.
Newcomer Stefano Bonomo helped set up Republic FC’s second goal just five minutes later. Defender Haris Chantzopoulos pushed forward from the backline and lofted a perfect ball over the defense and onto the onrushing Bonomo. Byars came off of his line to make the initial stop, but Bonomo was quick to get back to his feet and find the ball before being clipped down inside the box by the visiting goalkeeper to earn a penalty kick. Iwasa stepped to the spot and calmly beat Byars for his second of the match.
Iwasa completed his first-half hat trick in the 27th minute. Mitchell Taintor, playing as a right back on the day, got forward to whip in a cross inside the box to Iwasa at the far post. The Sacramento native struck the ball perfectly on a volley to send it into the back of the net and record his first-ever career hat trick.
Energy FC pulled one back in the 29th minute when midfielder Rafael Garcia found a bit of space down the right on a breakaway and beat Josh Cohen to his far post.
Republic FC added a fourth in the last action of the first half. Iwasa found Sam Werner open on the left wing just outside the box. Werner rifled a shot that took a heavy deflection off of Mekeil Williams leaving Byars no chance to get to the ball. Werner’s goal was his first for the club and adds to his assist on opening night.
The four goals scored in a half is good for the second-best tally in franchise history. Republic FC previously scored five second-half goals against Orange County Blues in a 6-1 rout on August 17, 2014. Republic FC forward Tommy Stewart, who was subbed on in the 62nd minute in that game, recorded a second-half hat trick in 28 minutes. Iwasa took 27 minutes to record his trick on Sunday afternoon, setting the club record for fastest hat trick in Republic FC history.
The 4-1 win extended Republic FC’s unbeaten streak to three games to start the season. Next up for the Indomitable Club is a road trip to Washington to take on newly minted Tacoma Defiance on Monday, April 1.
Scoring Summary: SAC – Cameron Iwasa (Ray Saari) 16, Cameron Iwasa (penalty) 21, Cameron Iwasa (Mitchell Taintor) 27, Sam Werner (Cameron Iwasa) 45; OKC – Rafa Garcia 29.
Misconduct Summary: SAC – Ray Saari (caution) 47, Drew Skundrich (caution) 80, Tyler Blackwood (caution) 90; OKC – Rafa Garcia (caution) 69.
OKC Energy FC – Bryan Byars, Mekeil Williams, Atiba Harris©, Nicolas Taravel (Christian Ibeagha 21), Kyle Hyland (Christian Eissele 66), Callum Ross, Alexy Bosetti (Marco Bustos 59), Rafa Garcia, Cordell Cato, Deshorn Brown, Omar Gordon.
Subs Not Used: Harrison Bouma, Drew Beckie, Kal Okot, Josh Garcia.
Stats: Shots: 8, Shots on Goal: 2, Saves: 2, Fouls: 13, Corner Kicks: 1, Offside: 2.
Sacramento Republic FC – Josh Cohen, Shannon Gomez, Charalampos “Haris” Chantzopoulos, Dekel Keinan, Mitchell Taintor, Ray Saari (Jaime Villarreal 52), Sam Werner (Villyan Bijev 73), Drew Skundrich, Elliott Hord, Cameron Iwasa, Stefano Bonomo (Tyler Blackwood 85).
Subs Not Used: Rafael Diaz, Matt Mahoney, Hayden Partain, Keven Aleman.
Stats: Shots: 13, Shots on Goal: 6, Saves: 1, Fouls: 17, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 0.
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