In the first rematch of the season, it was the same side that came out on top, with Orange County SC taking 3 points home with them on Saturday by a 3-1 score at Heart Health Park. Plenty of cards were shown throughout the match, including a straight red. The last time these two clubs met it was a 1-0 victory in favor of Orange County, after a noticeably flat Republic attack couldn’t break the Orange County defense.
Sacramento Republic FC came into the match looking to return to winning ways after an attacking showcase ended in a 3-3 draw against the Oakland Roots. The opponents, Orange County SC, also had a high-scoring affair last time out, losing a 3-4 result against Los Dos. Before the match started, Republic sat in 4th place in the Pacific Division, on 7 points with 5 games played. Orange County sat in 6th in the Pacific Division, on 3 points with 3 games played.
Orange County fielded this XI to start:
Your starters for tonight’s match are in.#ForCounty | #SACvOC pic.twitter.com/MeHSxV3yzV— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) June 6, 2021
And here is who started the night for the Republic:
Our starting XI vs @orangecountysc— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) June 6, 2021
Watch live on ESPN+, KQCA My58 and Estrella TV. #SACvOC | @ArdenFair pic.twitter.com/dt0ARZt6U6
The match started with the Republic on the ball.
10 minutes in and the Republic were already getting into more threatening positions than in their first encounter against Orange County. Notably a Pete Pennanen shot came from an over the top ball from the backline. The shot got blocked by an Orange County defender and was eventually cleared.
Orange County got the opening goal in the 22nd minute. Off the free kick on the right flank, a long cross sent in by Mikko Kunnigas got to Ronaldo Damus at the far post. The shot was placed past Tomas Gomez to give the visitors the lead.
This free kick tho... — Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) June 6, 2021
Ronaldo Damus finishes and gets his first goal of the season!
#ForCounty | 0-1 | #SACvOC pic.twitter.com/gvFOi6EhuM
In the 25th minute, the first yellow card was shown to Darek Formella for arguing with the ref.
Another yellow was issued in the 33rd minute to Chris Gloster for a sliding tackle on an Orange County player.
A decent chance for the Republic showed up in the 35th. An over the top cross from Jordan McCrary got to Cameron Iwasa at the far post. The header was just out of reach to be put back on target and so it went over the bar.
And a third yellow card was issued in the 37th minute to Mitchell Taintor for a sliding tackle. It should be worth noting that Orange County has had plenty of rough tackles by this point that weren’t given warnings.
Going into the half, it was Orange County on top 1-0. The Republic attack looked a couple shades better in comparison to the first match however there still was nothing to show for it. The passing was not clean enough, especially going into the final third. And there were a couple moments where Republic players were caught on the ball which led to Orange County counters. Orange County didn’t look particularly dangerous as well, but they made the most out of their opportunity and capitalized on a dead ball situation. Similar feeling to their first match.
The second half started with Orange County.
An interesting trio came on for the Republic at halftime as Tucker Bone, Duke Lacroix, and Nabi Kibunguchy came on for Jordan McCrary, Mitchell Taintor, and Cameron Iwasa respectively. This put Bone out on the right wing with Formella now slotting in center.
Orange County got the second half started with a bang in the 49th. A corner floated to the far post got to Brent Richards who headed it back across goal. Eero Markkanen got to it first and headed it in at point blank range.
.@eeromarkkanen makes it look easy #ForCounty | 0-2 | #SACvOC pic.twitter.com/cuD1fLvmFA— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) June 6, 2021
The Republic went down to 10 men after a straight red was issued in the 52nd minute to Dan Casey for tripping after the play was called dead. A warning was definitely warranted, but I don’t believe it was worth a straight red. Also worth noting that a yellow wasn’t issued to the Orange County player for a tackle through the back which kicked off this series of events.
In response, Republic moved to 4 in the back, with Nabi in as the right center back, paired with Hayden Sargis. Lacroix and Wheeler-Omiunu holding down the right and left back positions. This also moved Chris Gloster into a full left mid, instead of a left wing back.
In the 60th, the Republic got on the board with a cross coming in from the left, from Luis Felipe, getting to Tucker Bone. Bone beat his man and controlled the ball, neatly slotting it back across goal.
.@BoneTucker gets one back for the boys in red— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) June 6, 2021
SAC 1 | 2 OC pic.twitter.com/zD3zuz8u4y
Two more subs came in for the Republic in the 67th, with Jaime Villarreal coming in for Luis Felipe and Rafa Jauregui in for Chris Gloster.
Nabi is definitely winning over some fans with his hustle. After selling out and missing the tackle, giving a 1 on 1 opportunity for Orange County’s Damus, Nabi worked his way back into the play with an inch-perfect tackle to stop a shot from coming.
72' |YES NABI! The defender comes in clutch to deny OC. pic.twitter.com/jHIcJR5lH0— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) June 6, 2021
Even though they were down to 10, the Republic kept on prodding the Orange County defense going into the final 15 minutes of play. Formella got a decent shot at goal working down the center of the box. The shot was saved by a diving Patrick Rakovsky.
Another yellow was issued to the Republic in the 76th for Tucker Bone for I don’t know what at this point.
Orange County sealed it in the 87th. Off the long over the top ball, Brian Iloski controlled the ball in the Republic box. Multiple attempts at taking the ball off of him were made by the Republic defense, but Iloski found an opening and drilled it into the top of the net.
THE MAN WITH THE MOVES ⚡️— Orange County SC (@orangecountysc) June 6, 2021
@Iloskibrian takes the perfect first touch and gives us the 2 goal lead!
#ForCounty | 1-3 | #SACvOC pic.twitter.com/HXFTexBtc3
Another disappointing result in this string for the Republic. There definitely was more fight tonight than there was in the reverse fixture. They couldn’t get in full control of the match and Orange County made the team pay. Republic still sit in the 4th spot, but Orange County are now right behind them with a game in hand, and only 1 point behind.
The next match comes in the midweek against an ice-cold Real Monarchs.
Sacramento Republic FC: 1 goal, 10 shots, 5 shots on target, 53.6% possession, 0 corners, 2 offsides, 4 yellow cards, 1 red card
Orange County SC: 3 goals, 6 shots, 3 shots on target, 46.4% possession, 1 corners, 1 offsides, 3 yellow cards, 0 red cards
Republic FC Lineup: Tomas Gomez, Jordan McCrary (OUT, 45’), Hayden Sargis, Mitchell Taintor (OUT, 45’), Dan Casey, Chris Gloster (OUT, 67’), Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, Luis Felipe (OUT, 67’), Cameron Iwasa (OUT, 45’), Petteri Pennanen, Dariusz Formella
Republic FC Bench: Tucker Bone (IN, 45’), Duke Lacroix (IN, 45’), Mario Penagos, Jaime Villarreal (IN, 67’), Rafael Jauregui (IN, 67’), Nabi Kibunguchy (IN, 45’), Chuy Sanchez
What do you think? Leave a comment below.