Sacramento Republic welcomed Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 to Papa Murphy’s Park Saturday for the second time this season. Just as they did earlier in the season, Republic took three points off their northern neighbors and then sent them packing. Jeremy Hall scored the game’s only goal on a penalty kick late in the second half.
As might be expected with the team’s first game back after a week off, Paul Buckle went with a mostly full strength starting XI. The team came out in the same 4-2-4 formation it had in its last USL game, a 2-0 win over Sounders 2.
Republic started the game off on the front foot, attacking the Whitecaps 2 net. Unfortunately, the team was unable to convert the few early chances it had. The closest opportunity of the first 45 minutes came from Trevin Caesar in the 22nd minute, but the shot was not put on target.
One of the more impressive performers of the half was Emrah Klimenta, who was consistently a thorn in the side of the Vancouver attack.
Republic dominated most of the first 45 minutes, but despite taking 14 shots (13 off target) the Quails went into the locker rooms scoreless.
The second half began with much of the same for Republic. Both Caesar and Klimenta put in dangerous crosses within the first eight minutes of the half, but neither found a teammate.
Paul Buckle made his first substitution of the match in the 56th minute, bringing on newcomer Hayden Partain for Wilson Kneeshaw. Partain’s signing was announced the morning of the match.
Whitecaps 2 Head Coach Rich Fagan made his first substitution of the game soon after, bringing on Terran Campbell for Thomas Sanner. He then brought on Michael Baldisimo for Kadin Chung.
Chris Christian came close to scoring Republic’s first of the night on a 69th minute free kick. However, his well-aimed headed attempt was pawed away by Vancouver keeper Spencer Richey in an early favorite for Save of the Week.
Fagan made his third and final substitution in the 69th minute, bringing on Gloire Amanda for Cole Seiler.
Buckle made his second and third substitutions in the 76th minute, bringing on Harry Williams for Sammy Ochoa and Gabe Gissie for Caesar. Neither Williams nor Gissie have seen much action this season, so the 15 minute stint was an opportunity for them to impress.
Tyler Blackwood handed Republic its best opportunity of the night when he was taken down inside the penalty area in the 80th minute.
Jeremy Hall stepped up to the penalty spot and calmly buried the ball in the back of the net to give Republic the lead.
Republic’s win over Whitecaps 2 was the team’s second in a row. Next up for the Quails is an away match against Portland Timbers 2 August 13.