It took a full two months, but Sacramento Republic FC snapped their nine-game winless streak in USL Championship play on Wednesday, after defeating Las Vegas Lights FC 2-1 at Cashman Field.
Las Vegas, the last team Sacramento beat back on May 12, provided the slump-busting performance Republic FC desperately needed, as a first-half brace from Tucker bone made the difference on the night.
Mark Briggs started Bone, Cameron Iwasa, Hayden Sargis and Mario Penagos, as well as Luis Felipe, who has impressed in moments in terms of his passing this season, as Sac Republic looked for a change in their fortunes.
Bone got the early lead they desperately needed, with a nice curler from the edge of the box in the 5th minute to put Sacramento ahead 1-0.
Republic FC had a couple decent looks in the immediate aftermath, but couldn’t find a quick insurance goal. From there, Las Vegas started to get a hold on the game and push for an equalizer.
But Bone got another goal, in the 35th minute, to make it 2-0. Goalkeeper Tomas Gomez punted the ball upfield from his box, and Bone ran onto it, beat the defender and slotted it home.
After Las Vegas had a promising counterattack that led to Cal Jennings getting the ball in the box a few minutes later, Jordan McCrary had an inch-perfect tackle to dispossess the forward and preserve the shutout for Sacramento.
From there, the teams went into halftime with Sac Republic leading 2-0. The home side had a big advantage in possession to that point, but Sacramento had taken advantage of a couple of their chances and that was the difference.
The 2nd half was mostly sleepy, but the game woke up in the 74th minute when Las Vegas’ Julian Gaines scored on a scramble in the box to make it 2-1 and give Sacramento a test to see out the match.
Iwasa nearly scored another insurance tally in the 78th minute, but he couldn’t convert his chance after stripping Las Vegas GK Alex Rando in the box.
All in all, the performance was a bit shaggy in the 2nd half, but no major complaints when Sac Republic’s season was getting close to hanging in the balance. They found a way to get not only a win, but a win on the road. Now, they need to build on this and get a few more wins in quick succession, and they can be back on track before long. Obviously this result is a relief, all things considered.
Republic FC will have a 10-day break now, before they are scheduled to be back in action July 24 against Orange County SC in Irvine. This will be the teams’ final meeting of the regular season — can Sacramento avoid a season sweep?
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