LAS VEGAS – A pair of first-half goals by Tucker Bone saw Sacramento Republic FC to a 2-1 victory against Las Vegas Lights FC on Wednesday night at Cashman Field that snapped Republic FC’s nine-game winless streak and move the side within a point of the playoff positions in the Championship’s Central Division.
Looking for a second victory against Las Vegas this season, Sacramento made an ideal start as Bone opened the scoring in just the fifth minute. A long throw-in from the left was flicked on at the near post and fell to Cameron Iwasa, who controlled neatly and laid a pass back to Bone, who curled a low finish into the bottom-left corner of the net.
The visitors continued to make the early going, and five minutes later Luis Felipe Fernandes headed over as he got on the end of a well-delivered free kick by Petteri Pennanen. Lights FC began to pick up the pace soon after, though, and almost leveled through Cal Jennings in the 17th minute as he picked up possession after a good diagonal pass found him on the right. Jennings’ initial shot was blocked by Duke Lacroix, but he recovered possession and spun to his right before firing again, only for Sacramento’s Dan Casey to clear to safety.
Bone struck again for the visitors 10 minutes before halftime, though, as an accurate long clearance by Republic FC goalkeeper Tomas Gomez gave him a chance to turn into space. Bone cut through two defenders into the right side of the penalty area and he fired low to the right corner of the net as Republic FC countered the pressure Las Vegas had started to build.
Lights FC quickly got back on the front foot and almost pulled a goal back three minutes later as a three-on-two saw Bryce Duke play Jennings into the left side of the penalty area. Republic FC defender Jordan McCrary recovered perfectly, however, and made a sliding challenge that denied the chance and kept the visitors with a two-goal lead at the break.
The hosts tried to find a way back into the game in the second half and in the 71st minute Alvaro Quezada fired a long-range shot just wide of the right corner of the net. Three minutes later Lights FC found its way back within a goal as a corner from the right was headed down at the back post to Jennings, who controlled and calmly laid a pass back for Julian Gaines to shoot into the left corner from 10 yards.
Sacramento almost restored its two-goal advantage with 12 minutes to go as Iwasa stole possession when Lights FC was looking to play out of the back but was unable to direct his finish on frame. Iwasa went close again a minute later as Bone found him near the top of the penalty area, allowing him to turn and shoot on target to force a save from Las Vegas’ Alex Rando.
Las Vegas went close to an equalizer with a minute to go as Mamadou Fall rose highest to get to a cross from the left by Mohamed Traore but sent his header wide of the right post, but the hosts were unable to complete their comeback as Sacramento saw out stoppage time to claim a crucial victory on the road.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Tucker Bone, Sacramento Republic FC – Bone recorded both goals for the visitors on four shots overall and completed 12 of 15 passes while also making three interceptions defensively.
SAC – Tucker Bone (Cameron Iwasa) 5’
SAC – Tucker Bone 55’
LV – Julian Gaines (Cal Jennings) 74’