Sacramento Republic started their three game road trip with three points thanks to an exciting 2-1 victory over the Tulsa Roughnecks. Although the match was entertaining for the full 90 minutes, the second half provided many of the highlights. Sammy Ochoa came up huge for Republic against his former team, assisting Wilson Kneeshaw’s goal and helping set up Tyler Blackwood’s game winner.
The first half was a largely end-to-end affair, with both teams unafraid to go forward in search of a goal.
Tulsa’s Christian Mata had the first dangerous opportunity of the match in the 11th minute. Mata got in behind the Republic defense with room to run, but Dominik Jakubek came out strong and forced him wide. Jakubek’s pressure forced Mata’s shot to hit the side netting.
Republic got a little lucky in the 23rd minute, when a Tulsa attacker nearly took the ball away from Jakubek at the top of the penalty area.
Adam Moffat unleashed on of his famous powerful long range shots at the Tulsa goal in the 25th minute. Although the shot pressured the Roughnecks keeper into quick action, he was able to stop it from going in.
The home team launched a dangerous counter attack in the 35th minute, but it was taken care of by the Republic.
The second half continued at mostly the same up-tempo pace, with both teams going forward confidently and searching for the first goal of the game. In the end, though, neither team was able to grab a goal and the first half ended scoreless.
Half Time Stats
Sacramento Republic FC: 4 shots, 1 shot on goal, 78% pass accuracy (64% in Tulsa’s half), 54% possession, 0 corners, 4 fouls.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: 2 shots, 1 shot on goal, 76% pass accuracy (59% in Republic’s half), 46% possession, 1 corner, 7 fouls.
Republic started the second half much better than their opponents, but the Roughnecks made a major push in the closing 20 minutes.
Republic had the first opportunity of the second half with a short corner in the 47th minute, although it did not end in a goal.
The Republic would not be denied for long, however. The visitors took the lead early in 48th minute thanks to a goal from Wilson Kneeshaw, his second of the season.
Kneeshaw collected a header from Sammy Ochoa in the middle of the penalty area and calmly slotted the ball home. Although Kneeshaw’s finish is a good one, Ochoa’s play to get the assist should not be overlooked. The former Roughnecks forward held off two Tulsa defenders and managed to hit a pinpoint header right into Kneeshaw’s path to earn his second assist of the year.
Republic had a chance to get a second goal with a 58th minute counter attack, but Danny Barrera’s header on Kneeshaw’s cross went high and wide.
The Republic doubled its lead in the 67th minute with a goal from Tyler Blackwood, his first of the year.
Although he was not credited with an assist, Ochoa once again played a significant role in setting the goal up. His initial shot was powerful and well placed enough that the Roughnecks keeper could only parry it away, right to where Blackwood was waiting. To his credit, Blackwood immediately pounced on the ball, making the most of his opportunity to score possibly the easiest goal of his career.
Jakubek nearly gifted the Roughnecks a great opportunity to grab a goal in the 73rd minute, when he got too cute with the ball while under pressure. Thankfully for the Republic, he was able to clear the ball.
Starting in the 75th minute, the momentum began to shift in favor of the Roughnecks and the home team began to attack the Republic goal with more urgency.
Paul Buckle made his first substitution of the game in the 75th minute, bringing on Chris Christian for Elliott Hord in order to help preserve the lead.
Jakubek came up huge for the Republic in the 76th minute, taking a shot from Joaquin Rivas full in the face and making a save.
Tulsa nearly scored a Goal of the Year candidate in the 78th minute off a corner kick, but Jakubek was able to make the save.
Buckle made another substitution in the 79th minute, bringing on Harry Williams for Sammy Ochoa.
Just one minute later, the home team managed to get a goal and cut the Republic’s lead in half. The goal came after an extended period of high pressure from the Roughnecks.
Buckle made his final substitution of the match in the 88th minute, bringing on Daniel Trickett-Smith for Tyler Blackwood.
Tulsa had an excellent chance to grab a last-minute equalizer in second half stoppage time, but Christian Mata made a mess of his shot.
Mata’s chance was the last one of the game for either team. Shortly after, the referee called the game to an end and gave the Republic a well-deserved 2-1 win.
After tonight’s win, the Republic are undefeated after three games. Next up for the Quails is another road game against OKC Energy FC on Tuesday, April 11.
What are your thoughts about tonight’s match? Let us know in the comments below!