Sacramento Republic FC controlled the ball from the start pressuring the Rhino’s defense early and often. Republic FC’s first chance came in just the 5th minute when forward Thomas Stewart charged off the left side of the box and took a strong shot that was saved by goalkeeper Louis Joffner.
Rochester had an early attack of their own in the 14th minute. Defender Emrah Klimenta fouled Rochester midfielder Minh Vu on the left corner of the box. Vu took the ensuing free kick that was headed out to a Rhino’s attacker whose shot went just wide.
While Republic FC continued to control the possession it was Rochester who had the only other great opportunity in the half in the 39th minute. Republic FC defender Nemanja Vuković sent a header toward his own goal that was mishandled, leaving Vu open one-on-one with Republic FC goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek. Vu crossed the ball on the ground in front of the goal, but a sliding attempt by Levi Houapeu was unsuccessful and the half ended in a 0-0 tie.
Republic FC came out strong in the second half again, maintaining possession and also attacking. In the 74th minute Republic FC finally broke through and took the lead. Substitute Max Alvarez passed the ball into the middle where Stewart received the ball with his back to the goal. Stewart faked left, turned right and sent a left-footed strike into the right of the goal for his club-leading fourth goal of the season.
Republic FC’s defense finished the match strong keeping the ball in the attacking third and away from much danger. Rochester only had one strong look on goal when a cross into the box found forward JC Banks in stoppage time. Banks was able to take an open shot from six yards out that was batted down and then jumped on by Jakubek preserving the lead for good.
“It’s a massive win, any points on the road are big,” said Stewart following the match. “Now we have to try and win three points in Dayton make our way up in the league.”
The win is the third on the road for Republic FC and moves the club into a tie for third place in the USL PRO standings. Republic FC will travel to Dayton for the second of a two-match east coast road trip. The match will be played at DOC Stadium in West Carrollton, Ohio. Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday, May 25, at 4 p.m. PST. The match will also be streamed live on YouTube and at www.sacrepublicfc.com/matchday. Updates will be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC and by using #DDLFCvSRFC.
Scoring Summary: SRFC – Thomas Stewart (Max Alvarez) 74
Misconduct Summary: SRFC – Ivan Mirković (caution) 40, Rodrigo Lopez (caution) 90
Rochester Rhinos – Louis Joffner; Onua Obsai, Kyle Hoffer, Patrick McMahon, Tony Walls; Minh Vu (Alex Dixon 67), Levi Houapeu (Jonny Mendoza 67), Lance Rozeboom, Alec Sundly (Mike Garzi 64); Tyler Rosenlund (Colin Rolfe 82), JC Banks.
Sacramento Republic FC – Dominik Jakubek; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly, Harrison Delbridge, Nemanja Vuković; Carlos Martinez (Max Alvarez 65), Ivan Mirković, George Fochive (Octavio Guzman 74), Rodrigo Lopez; Thomas Stewart (Chad Bartlomé 86), Justin Braun (Dakota Collins 74).