IRVINE, Calif. (March 24, 2018) — Sacramento Republic FC continued its winning start to the new season after defeating Orange County SC 1-0 at Championship Soccer Stadium on Saturday night. Cameron Iwasa’s lone goal in the second half was enough for all three points and extend his side’s record to 2-0-0 in 2018.
Although Republic FC set a high tempo in the opening minutes, it was the home side that had the first chance of the night.
Orange County’s Mark Segbers picked up a loose ball in midfield and linked up with Michael Seaton on the edge of the box. Seaton laid the ball off to an on-rushing Koji Hashimoto who fired a shot on his first touch to force a diving save from Josh Cohen in the fifth minute.
The Sacramento keeper nearly went from hero to villain, however, just a few minutes later. In a move reminiscent of Germany’s sweeper-keeper, Manuel Neuer, Cohen raced off his line all the way toward the sideline to clear a long ball up field to Seaton. Cohen mistimed his challenge and was beat by Seaton, who went around the keeper and crossed the ball into the box. Hashimoto received the ball and fired a shot toward the empty net, but defender Cole Seiler was there to make the block and keep the score level.
The visitors had their first shot on target in the 30th minute following a corner kick on the right wing. Keven Alemán’s cross to the far post was headed back into the center of the box where Villyan Bijev headed it at goal, but the shot lacked power and Andre Rawls made the easy save.
Orange County had another clear scoring opportunity in the 32nd minute after Christian Duke put Thomas Enevoldsen through on goal, but the striker sent his shot wide when it was just him and the keeper.
A minute later, Segbers broke into the penalty area and laid off a diagonal pass back to Hashimoto at the top of the box. The Japanese midfielder placed a shot toward Cohen’s far post, but the keeper was able to make the diving save.
The home side continued to threaten in the second half, forcing Cohen into a point-blank save in the 57th minute on an Enevoldsen shot inside the box.
Just when it looked like Orange County would be the first to break the deadlock, Iwasa made a brilliant individual play to give his side the lead in the 66th minute. Alemán intercepted a pass in Sacramento’s half and sent a long ball up field toward Iwasa where the forward was alone with Orange County’s Alex Crognale. Iwasa took on the Columbus Crew loanee, making a sharp cut inside the box to displace the defender and fire home a near-post shot.
Orange County’s momentum took another hit when the they were left with ten men with less than a quarter hour to play after Seaton collided with Cohen in the box and was deemed to have made a reckless challenge on the play.
Despite a late push, the home side was unable to equalize and Republic FC left Championship Soccer Stadium with all three points.
Next for the Indomitable Club is a trip to Texas to take on Rio Grande Valley Toros FC on Saturday, March 31. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PDT and the match will be broadcast live on KQCA My58, Estrella TV 58.3 and SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.
Scoring Summary: SRFC – Cameron Iwasa (Keven Alemán) 66.
Misconduct Summary: OCSC – Koji Hashimoto (caution) 18, Mark Segbers (caution) 50, Oscar Sorto (caution) 58, Michael Seaton (expulsion) 76, Alex Crognale 81; SRFC – Villyan Bijev (caution) 90+2.
Orange County SC – Andrew Rawls, Oscar Sorto, Kontor Owusu-Ansah (Noah Powder 45), Alex Crognale, Thomas Juel-Nielsen, Aoohan Quinn, Christian Duke (Giovanni Ramos Godoy 79), Koji Hashimoto (Richard Chaplow 68), Mark Segbers, Thomas Enevoldsen, Michael Seaton
Subs Not Used: Casey Bayers, Walker Hume, Joe Amico, Mats Bjurmann.
Stats: Shots: 10, Shots on Goal: 5, Saves: 1, Fouls: 11, Corner Kicks: 6, Offsides: 2.
Sacramento Republic FC – Josh Cohen, Shannon Gomez, Cole Seiler, Mitchell Taintor, Hayden Partain, Keven Alemán, Jeremy Hall, Jaime Villareal (Adam Moffat 48), Villyan Bijev, Christian Eissele (Wilson Kneeshaw 67), Cameron Iwasa.
Subs Not Used: Rafa Diaz, Carlos Rodriguez, Luis Espino, Justin Schmidt.
Stats: Shots: 7, Shots on Goal: 2, Saves: 4, Fouls: 7, Corner Kicks: 4, Offsides: 3.
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