After a slow start to the first half for Republic FC, seeing minimal possession, the home team kicked into gear in the 16th minute. Forward David Estrada and midfielder Rodrigo Lopez had a give-and-go right outside the box. Estrada flipped the ball over the defense to Lopez who got a shot off, but it was saved by Whitecaps FC 2 keeper Spencer Richey.
Republic FC would find the back of the net in the 32nd minute when Lopez stole the ball in the middle of the pitch and sent a pass to Estrada out wide. Estrada drew the defense toward him and calmly slid the ball back to Lopez in the middle who sent the shot right into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
In the 41st minute Whitecaps FC 2 forward Victor Blasco streaked past the Republic FC defense and after a great through ball had a one-on-one opportunity against Republic FC goalkeeper Patrick McLain. Blasco got a clear shot at goal but McLain made a fantastic diving save with his right hand keeping Republic FC ahead 1-0 heading into halftime.
Republic FC keeper McLain was called into action again at the start of the second half. In the 58th minute, Whitecaps FC 2 forward Mackenzie Pridham sent a driven shot to McLain’s right that the keeper had to dive for and parry away for a corner, which he promptly snared in the air.
In the 71st minute Republic FC would strike again. After solid build up play from the defense, Lopez received the ball just behind the midfield line. Lopez put his eyes on the goal and saw that Richey was playing outside of the 18-yard box and without hesitation sent a right-footed strike toward goal. Richey could not get back to his line fast enough and the shot went perfectly into the back of the net putting Republic FC up 2-0.
“I said at halftime, the wind was blowing pretty hard and I told Justin [Braun], I’m going to see if the goalie’s cheating to see if I could catch him off his line,” Lopez said of his second half goal. “I looked up and I went for it and it went in. One of the best goals of my career, for sure.”
“Overall I thought the first half, we didn’t start too well, but then we picked up the tempo,” said Republic FC head coach Preki. “In the last 25 minutes we were pretty good.”
Sacramento Republic FC moves to 3-2-0 in the USL season and remains unbeaten at home. They will be back in action on Saturday April 18 when they take on Portland Timbers FC 2 at Bonney Field.
Scoring Summary: SRFC – Rodrigo Lopez (David Estrada) 32, Rodrigo Lopez 71.
Misconduct Summary: SRFC – James Kiffe (caution) 20, Mickey Daly (caution) 47; VAN – Tim Parker (caution) 19.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – Spencer Richey; Jordan Haynes, Tim Parker, Craig Nitti, Chris Serban; Mitch Piraux (Tyler Roselund 66), Ben McKendry, Victor Blasco (Jovan Blagojevic 79), Sahil Sandhu; Mackenzie Pridham (Caleb Clarke 66), Billy Schuler (Brett Levis 66).
Subs Not Used: Marco Caducci, Jackson Farmer.
Stats: Shots: 8, Shots on Goal: 5 , Saves: 7 , Fouls: 12, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 4.
Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McLain; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly, Derek Foran (Nemanja Vuković 45), James Kiffe; Zev Taublieb (Max Alvarez 59), Ivan Mirković, Octavio Guzman, Rodrigo Lopez (Gabe Gonzalez 74); David Estrada (Cameron Iwasa 74), Justin Braun (Adnan Gabeljic 63).
Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Joaquin Rivas.
Stats: Shots: 14, Shots on Goal: 9, Saves: 5, Fouls: 16, Corner Kicks: 4, Offside: 2.