Sacramento Republic came into tonight’s midweek match against Orange County SC needing either a draw or win to clinch a spot in the USL Playoffs. Unfortunately, Republic were unable to come away with a result and suffered a 3-1 loss.
The match started off relatively evenly, with the play going mostly back and forth evenly between the two teams for the first.
Orange County had the first real significant chance of the match in the 24th minute, but the danger was cut out after Chris Christian put his body on the line in a challenge.
Unfortunately for Republic, the home side would score the first goal of the match in the 27th minute.
Rodrigo Pacheco with the put back to put @orangecountysc ahead!#OCvSAC pic.twitter.com/8HR9ZrNtgn— USL (@USL) October 5, 2017
Rodrigo Pacheco pounced on the rebound from an excellent shot from Zach Kobayashi to give OCSC the lead.
Villyan Bijev very nearly earned an equalizer for Republic just a minute later with a well struck shot from distance that beat the goalkeeper but deflected off the bottom of crossbar and went out.
Republic was able to snatch an equalizer just before the end of the first half in the 43rd minute thanks to a superb set piece routine.
Just tap it in!@Sammy8A26 with the equalizer for @SacRepublicFC! #OCvSAC pic.twitter.com/lYizWombYV— USL (@USL) October 5, 2017
James Kiffe started the play with a pass to Bijev, who hit a quick pass to Sammy Ochoa to provide a smooth finish. It was without a doubt one of the best Republic goals of the season.
The goal was the final notable moment of the half and when the whistle blew both teams headed to the locker rooms tied at one goal apiece.
The second half opened with both teams looking to find a go-ahead goal.
Orange County nearly found one in the 52nd minute, but Jeannot Esua’s shot missed the net by about a mile.
The first substitution of the match came on the OCSC side, with Irvin Parra replacing James Baxendale.
Paul Buckle made his first substitution of the match in the 65th minute, bringing on Matt Wiesenfarth for Ochoa.
Buckle’s second sub came in the 72nd minute, with Harry Williams replacing Luis Espino.
Orange County found the back of the net once again in the 80th minute after taking advantage of a lucky deflection off the back of Kiffe.
Stevanovic with the left footer!@orangecountysc takes the 2-1 lead vs @SacRepublicFC! #OCvSAC pic.twitter.com/BVT7RHJDUN— USL (@USL) October 5, 2017
Buckle made his third sub of the match soon after, bringing on Elliott Hord for Peter McGlynn in the 87th minute.
Unfortunately, any chance of a positive result went away in second half stoppage time just moments before the end of the game when Orange County scored its third goal and final goal of the game.
.@Jerry_no7 seals the deal for @orangecountysc!#OCvSAC pic.twitter.com/BuvyIz5MBo— USL (@USL) October 5, 2017
While the result did not kill Republic’s chances of making the playoffs, it didn’t do them any favors. Republic still need a win to make it in and tonight’s match against Orange County was arguably the team’s best chance. Now the Quails have to win against either Colorado Springs Switchbacks or Reno 1868.
First up is Colorado Springs. Republic travel to face the Switchbacks this Saturday October 7th.