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Gameday Report: July 24, Week 21

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 07/25/19, 1:10AM EDT

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Bruce lifts New Mexico over Republic FC; Orange County ends Reno's winning streak

A five-game Wednesday kicked off with a matinee kickoff between Orange County SC and Reno 1868 FC, with the hosts providing an emphatic performance in a 4-1 win thanks to goals from Michael Seaton, Darwin Jones, and Daniel Crisostomo. ATLUTD2 and the Charlotte Independence traded blows before finishing square at two-all in a match that saw the hosts go down to ten men in stoppage time. LA Galaxy II collected a big road win over Tulsa Roughnecks FC with goals from Nate Shultz, Augustine Williams, and Jorge Hernández propelling the visitors. To the same tune as OC, the Tacoma Defiance also found comfort at home when they defeated 8-man Las Vegas Lights FC at Cheney Stadium behind an Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez brace. Ending off the night, a late winner from substitute Daniel Bruce helped lift New Mexico United to victory over Sacramento Republic FC and halted a six-game winless streak that dated back to June 5.

Sacramento Republic FC (1) v New MExico United (2)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – New Mexico United claimed their first league victory since May 25 as a late winner earned them a 2-1 win in an exciting contest at Papa Murphy’s Park. The visitors jumped out to an early lead after 10 minutes when midfielder Chris Wehan produced a gorgeous curling effort from distance that beat Republic FC goalkeeper Rafael Diaz to give his side a deserved lead. Holding their lead through the break, United nearly went up two to the good when forward Devon Sandoval pounced on a loose ball in the box and had a point-blank effort clip off Diaz and deflect off the crossbar before going out of play. Instead, Sacramento worked their way back in the 75th minute through Sam Werner when the midfielder settled an errant shot and cut inside from the right before whipping a left-footed effort to the far post through bodies in the box and in. Republic FC looked the more likely of the two sides to find a potential winner and had an effort from Villyan Bijev saved well by United goalkeeper Cody Mizell, but it was New Mexico United midfielder Daniel Bruce who came on in the 67th minute and won it in the 89th minute with a stunning lofted effort hit on the half-volley to the back post. The win for New Mexico means they halt a six-game winless run while Sacramento drops their second straight after falling to RGV on the road last weekend.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Chris Wehan, New Mexico United – Wehan put in another solid shift for New Mexico, scoring one goal off two shots on target and creating an additional chance to help the visitors to a win.

Tacoma Defiance (4) v Las Vegas Lights FC (1)

TACOMA, Wa. – The Tacoma Defiance picked up their biggest win of the season by defeating 8-man Las Vegas Lights FC, 4-1, at Cheney Stadium on Wednesday. After having a goal disallowed, the hosts went still went first after 31 minutes when forward Justin Dhillon took a pass from midfielder Marlon Vargas in on goal and rounded Lights FC goalkeeper Thomas Olsen for his seventh goal of the season. Las Vegas hit back quickly through defender Javan Torre, who headed in a corner from Preston Tabort Etaka to level the scoring just five minutes later. However, two minutes after the break Tacoma restored their lead when confusion between Lights FC defender Christian Ramirez and Olsen resulted in the ball popping over and clear for halftime substitute Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez to roll in. Ocampo-Chavez then doubled his tally in the 66th minute when he turned in a cross from Nicholas Hinds to put his team two in front, beginning the best of the worst for Las Vegas. In the 70th minute, Lights FC midfielder Jesus Gonzalez was sent off for using foul and abusive language with teammate Javan Torre also sent off five minutes later for a late challenge following a Tacoma clearance. The Defiance would add a fourth goal in the 85th minute when Shandon Hopeau curled in an effort from six yards out after a layoff from Ocampo-Chavez set him free. One minute later, on the other end of the field Las Vegas forward Sammy Ochoa was then sent off for violent conduct, capping off a difficult night in Tacoma.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Tacoma Defiance – A halftime substitute, Ocampo-Chavez turned the game on its head by scoring a brace—including the winner—and assisting on the Defiance’s final goal of the night.

Tulsa Roughnecks FC (1) v LA Galaxy II (3)

TULSA, Okla. – Another potential playoff swing came in the form of LA Galaxy II’s 3-1 win over Tulsa Roughnecks FC at ONEOK Field backed by goals from Nate Shultz, Augustine Williams, and Jorge Hernández. Needing to respond from the get-go, Galaxy II went down in the 3rd minute when forwards Rodrigo da Costa and Fredlin Mompremier combined beautifully in a move that resulted in Mompremier scoring a ball across goal from the endline for da Costa to tap-in from close range. However, the visitors began their comeback when midfielder Nate Shultz headed in Jorge Hernández’s scooped cross at the back post to pull level before the halftime break. Into the second half, Galaxy II took a lead they would not relinquish when Augustine Williams converted a free header off a José Hernández free kick from a wide position in the 54th minute. Tulsa’s night took a turn for the worse when defender Matt Rogers was sent off on a straight red for a challenge from behind on a Galaxy II breakaway, but the visitors would find a third anyhow when Jorge Hernández got his own goal in the 75th minute, finishing off another breakaway by pushing an effort past Tulsa goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar to the far post and in for the final goal of the night.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Jorge Hernández, LA Galaxy II – Hernández was instrumental in conducting Galaxy II’s attack, getting involved in two of LA’s three goals by recording an assist and scoring a goal while also creating four chances on the night.

Atlanta United 2 (2) v Charlotte Independence (2)

KENNESAW, Ga. – A heated encounter between Atlanta United 2 and the Charlotte Independence finished square at two-all with Charlotte coming back to rescue a point on the road. Trading opportunities in the opening half hour, the Independence struck first when midfielder Alex Martinez cut a pass back for forward Jorge Herrera at the top of the box where the Independence legend hit it first time to beat ATLUTD2 goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira. However, the hosts mounted a mighty comeback with two goals in ten minutes beginning with Bienvenue Kanakimana’s calm finish in the 33rd minute and rounding out with Kanakimana’s second of the night, a poked effort after an awkward deflection off a defender left him a slim chance in the middle of the six-yard box. Undeterred, Charlotte defender Aaron Maund got on the end of a Abdoulie Mansally free kick in the 72nd minute to level the scoring and give Charlotte an earned point. Despite neither side breaking the deadlock in the final 20 minutes, the end of the match was spoiled by two yellow cards and a red card in stoppage time leaving ATLUTD2 with ten men late on.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Bienvenue Kanakimana, Atlanta United 2 – Kanakimana’s brace helped ATLUTD2 seal a point with the midfielder also creating one chance and winning 7 of 13 duels in 90 minutes.

Orange County SC (4) v Reno 1868 FC (1)

IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County SC earned a needed win on Wednesday after a 4-1 win over Reno 1868 FC helped them leap back into playoff position just after the midway point in the season. The hosts jumped out to an early lead after 11 minutes when forward Michael Seaton put home a cross from midfielder Darwin Jones close in. In the 36th minute, Jones found his way on the scoresheet when he doubled OC’s lead on the break, firing low into and through the legs of Reno goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski. Taking the two-goal advantage through the break, the hosts found a third goal after 50 minutes when recent returnee Christian Duke played Jones in down the left flank and the midfielder cut in and burst past Marcinkowski before rolling his second goal of the evening in from close range. Reno were keen to make something of the contest when forward Corey Hertzog converted a penalty in the 58th minute, but the visitors were not able to get a hold on the match and substitute Daniel Crisostomo scored the hosts’ fourth goal in stoppage time to put the game away.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Darwin Jones, Orange County SC – Jones scored a brace, recorded an assist, and created four total chances while also winning six of nine duels in 78 minutes of action. 

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