The first half hour of the match started slow with both sides trying to establish a rhythm. Republic FC finally broke through in the 32nd minute. Forward Justin Braun got behind the defense and put a shot on goal that was blocked by Orange County keeper Patrick McLain to the middle of the box. Rodrigo Lopez was there to clean up and sent the rebound shot into the open net to give Republic FC the 1-0 lead.
The lead would not last long as OCB would equalize just three minutes later when midfielder Mershad Momeni attacked down the right flank and sent a low cross to Gabriel Gonzalez, who controlled the ball and sent a shot past the outstretched arm of Republic FC keeper Jake Gleeson to tie the score 1-1. The score would remain tied 1-1 at the half.
The early stages of the second half saw some wide open play with both teams seeing solid scoring chances. The match took an interesting turn in the 84th minute when Republic FC midfielder Tommy Thompson sent a low driven shot towards Orange County keeper McLain. The visiting keeper bobbled the save, before recapturing the ball on the ground. After some contact in the box and a bit of a scuffle Republic FC midfielder Lopez, forward Thomas Stewart and Orange County goalkeeper McLain all received yellow cards.
Republic FC finally broke through again three minutes into stoppage. Midfielder Lopez sent an in swinging free kick, which was punched out of the box by the keeper, McLain. Second half substitute midfielder Octavio Guzman controlled the long rebound 25 yards away from goal and sent a low right-footed bullet shot through two defenders and past an unsuspecting McLain. The goal was the second goal of the year and his first game-winning goal as a professional.
“It’s exciting. I couldn’t believe it at first when it hit the back of the net. I couldn’t describe it, I was just happy,” said Guzman of his goal. “I’m glad I was able to help the team out.”
With the win Republic FC (9-5-2) moves just two points back in the USL PRO standings of the third place LA Galaxy II and three points back of the second place Richmond Kickers.
Republic FC will be back in action on Saturday, July 12 when they take on the Richmond Kickers. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 4:00 p.m PST at City Stadium in Richmond. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday. Updates will also be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC and using the hashtag #RICvSRFC.
Scoring Summary: SRFC – Rodrigo Lopez 32, Octavio Guzman 90+; OCB – Gabriel Gonzalez (Mehrshad Momeni) 35.
Misconduct Summary: SRFC – Ivan Mirković (caution) 21, Adam Jahn (caution) 50, Rodrigo Lopez (caution) 86, Thomas Stewart (caution) 86; OCB – Patrick McLain (caution) 86, Allan Russell (caution) 90+
Sacramento Republic FC – Jake Gleeson; Alvas Powell (Octavio Guzman 61), Mickey Daly, Nemanja Vuković, Emrah Klimenta; Carlos Martinez (Tommy Thompson 58), George Fochive, Ivan Mirković, Rodrigo Lopez; Adam Jahn (Chad Bartlomé 67), Justin Braun (Thomas Stewart 67).
Orange County Blues FC – Patrick McLain; Seth Moses, Jimmy Turner, Fabrice Gautrat, Josh Suggs; Stephen Okai, Jiovanni Santana (Andrew Hoxie 79), Gabriel Gonzalez, Enrique Cardenas (Mohammad Roknipour 89), Mehrshad Momeni (Jacob Barron 64); Allan Russell.