Republic FC started the game on the front foot in their match against Roughnecks FC, maintaining possession and keeping constant pressure on the Roughnecks’ defense. Republic FC opened the scoring in just the 10th minute. James Kiffe received the ball wide on the left side before sending a cross toward the back post, finding forward Mackenzie Pridham, who had found some open space behind the defense. Pridham headed Kiffe’s cross hard into the ground, causing the ball to bounce up and over an onrushing Tulsa keeper, Jake Feener, giving Republic FC the early 1-0 lead.
In the 19th minute, Republic FC doubled their lead. Club leading scorer Cameron Iwasa took the ball from right to left near the top of the box before sending a strong, grounded left-footed shot toward goal. The ball deflected off the feet of a Roughneck defender, redirecting the ball toward the back post, past a diving Feener and into the back of the net putting Republic FC ahead 2-0. The goal was Iwasa’s 12th of the season, breaking the Republic FC single-season record previously held by Thomas Stewart.
Republic FC added a third goal before halftime in the 35th minute. Former Republic FC forward Kaleemullah took down Danny Barrera near the top of the box while on a counter attack, resulting in a free kick from about 25 yards from goal. Barrera took a left-footed free kick, which went up and over the five-man wall and into the bottom right corner of the goal for a 3-0 Republic FC lead going into the break.
The second half looked much like the first, with Republic FC controlling possession and taking most of the chances on goal. In the 68th minute they had their first strong look on goal of the second half after a corner was deflected out of bounds. Barrera took a quick throw-in to second half substitute Octavio Guzman, who played it back to Barrera who immediately crossed the ball into the box. Daniel Trickett-Smith headed the cross toward goal, but Tulsa goalkeeper Hunter Harrison was able to deflect the ball off the crossbar. The ball landed in front of Iwasa, who was following the play and the forward attempted a header but was called offside as Harrison swatted the ball away.
Tulsa had their only strong look of the night on goal in the 77th minute when a short corner was played to Gustavo Villalobos on the left side. The substitute midfielder sent a cross to the middle of the box which found Bryce Taylor, whose header went toward the goal, but missed just high and wide of the upper right corner of the goal.
Republic FC added a fourth and final goal late in stoppage time. Substitute forward Wilson Kneeshaw started a counter attack down the middle of the field, before stopping and sending the ball back to Trickett-Smith. The midfielder took the ball forward, picked his head up and found Harry Williams open on the left side of the box. Williams settled the pass before sending a low shot past Harrison and into the right side of the goal, giving Republic FC the 4-0 win.
With the win and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC’s 4-0 loss to Orange County Blues FC, Republic FC won their first USL Western Conference title in franchise history. Republic FC will host the Blues on Saturday, Oct. 1 in the first round of the USL Cup Playoffs. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Bonney Field. Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com.
Scoring Summary: SRFC – Mackenzie Pridham (James Kiffe) 10, Cameron Iwasa 19, Danny Barrera 35, Harry Williams (Daniel Trickett-Smith) 90.
Misconduct Summary: OKC – Kaleemullah (caution) 34, Raymond Lee (caution) 50; SRFC –Octavio Guzman (caution) 83.
Sacramento Republic FC – Evan Newton; Elliott Hord, Mike da Fonte, Carlos Rodriguez, James Kiffe; Danny Barrera (Wilson Kneeshaw 78), Matt LaGrassa, Jeremy Hall (Daniel Trickett-Smith 65), JJ Koval (Alfonso Motagalvan 72); Cameron Iwasa (Harry Williams 74), Mackenzie Pridham (Octavio Guzman 57).
Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek; Derek Foran.
Stats: Shots: 15, Shots on Goal: 8, Saves: 1, Corner Kicks: 8, Offside: 1.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC – Jake Feener (Hunter Harrison 46); Edgar Espinoza, David Abidor, Devin Morgan, Gary Cennerazzo; Jasson Ramos Carpio (Gustavo Villalobos 56), Carlos Martinez, Raymond Lee, Kaleemullah (Bryce Taylor 73); Cristian Mata (Brady Ballew 70), Sammy Ochoa.
Subs Not Used: Iarfhlaith Davoren, Isaiah Schafer.
Stats: Shots: 5, Shots on Goal: 1, Saves: 4, Corner Kicks: 4, Offside: 2.