Los Dos started the match out with a bang. Forward Ethan Zubak scored in the first 10 seconds, a USL record for fastest goal, beating the previous held record of Jordan Hamilton’s 18th second strike for Wilmington Hammerheads FC in 2014. Midfielder Alejandro Covarrubias took the opening kickoff and sent it long to Zubak who headed the ball down and sent a dipping shot from about 25 yards out that went up and over Dominik Jakubek and into the back of the net.
Republic FC would answer back with a goal in the 26th minute. Forward Sammy Ochoa attacked down the right side, getting all the way to the touchline. Ochoa dragged the ball back to his left foot and sent a curling cross to the far post. Midfielder Luis Espino, making his Republic FC debut tonight, went unmarked at the far post as he sent his header into the back of the net for the equalizer. The score would remain 1-1 going into the half.
Tyler Blackwood had a glorious chance to put Republic FC up a goal in the 59th minute when he used his speed to blow past the Los Dos defense. Blackwood took three touches towards keeper Eric Lopez, who had to come off his line to stop the attack. Blackwood blasted a low shot, but Lopez slid and deflected the breakaway chance out of harm’s way.
Republic FC would find the go-ahead goal in the 61st minute. Midfielder Villyan Bijev had the ball at his feet in the center of the pitch, 25 yards away from goal. He picked his head up and curled a right-footed shot past the defenders in his way and a diving Lopez for his second goal for Republic FC and putting the home side ahead 2-1.
Second-half substitute Harry Williams nearly added a third goal in the 89th minute. Williams ran onto a long through ball and beat the defense as he headed for goal. Lopez came rushing off his line to cut down the angle for Williams to shoot at. Williams sent a left-footed shot on goal, but Lopez went to ground to make the save. The match ended a few minutes later with Republic FC securing the three points with a 2-1 victory over their rivals LA Galaxy II.
“We looked dangerous and we deserved to win,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle after the victory. “We have shown great character this season. To come back when you fall behind, it shows character and we’ve got that. There are no easy games in this league.”
Scoring Summary: LA – Ethan Zubak 1; SRFC – Luis Espino (Sammy Ochoa) 26, Villyan Bijev 61
Misconduct Summary: LA – Alejandro Covarrubias (caution) 45, Jonathan Hernandez (caution) 50, Alex Mendez (caution) 89
LA Galaxy II – Eric Lopez, Leonardo Sepúlveda, Jefrey Payeras, Jean Jospin Engola, Tyler Turner (Uly Llanez 82), Jonathan Hernandez, Alejandro Covarrubias (Ryo Fujii 69), Andre Ulrich Zanga, Adrian Vera, Ethan Zubak, Jonah Estrada (Alex Mendez 77).
Subs Not Used: Bennett Sneddon, Jorge Hernandez, Justin Dhillon, Jake Arteaga.
Stats: Shots: 6, Shots on Goal: 1, Saves: 5, Fouls: 10, Corner Kicks: 2, Offside: 0.
Sacramento Republic FC – Dominik Jakubek, James Kiffe, Jeremy Hall, Chris Christian, Emrah Klimenta, Agustin Cazarez, Hayden Partain (Carlos Rodriguez 19) (Elliott Hord 65), Luis Espino, Tyler Blackwood, Vilyan Bijev (Harry Williams 80), Sammy Ochoa.
Subs Not Used: Evan Newton, Peter McGlynn, Trevin Caesar, Matt Wiesenfarth.
Stats: Shots: 15, Shots on Goal: 6, Saves: 0, Fouls: 10, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 5.