SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A pair of first-half goals by Luis Felipe Fernandes led Sacramento Republic FC to a 3-1 victory against the New York Red Bulls II on Saturday night at Heart Health Park as Dariusz Formella also added a goal and assist for the hosts.
Looking to build on their late equalizer last time out, Sacramento thought it had opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Jerome Kiesewetter put the ball in the net only for the offside flag to be raised as he strayed behind the backline before the through ball was delivered. Eleven minutes later, though, there was no mistake for the hosts as Formella’s corner kick from the left was flicked home at the top of the six-yard area by Fernandes with a header to the right corner for his first goal of the season.
It took only five minutes for Fernandes’ second of the campaign to arrive, too, as he controlled a chipped pass from Formella with his chest at the top of the penalty area to send the ball to Duke Lacroix, who headed back into the path of Fernandes to allow the midfielder to shoot home into the left corner.
New York managed to create some danger when they were on the ball, though, and eight minutes before halftime Emir Tombul fired a shot from distance just past the top-right corner of the net. Republic FC added to its lead four minutes later, though, as Kiesewetter was brought down in the penalty area by Daniel Edelman, and while Red Bulls II goalkeeper AJ Marcucci made a fine low save to keep out Formella’s penalty kick to the right corner, Formella reacted first to the rebound to make it a three-goal lead at the break.
The Red Bulls II wouldn’t go quietly, though, and a piece of clever footwork 11 minutes into the second half set up Jake LaCava for a shot from 12 yards to the left corner that Sacramento’s Tomas Gomez kept out well with a diving save. In the 62nd minute New York pulled a goal back on a spectacular finish by Jeremy Rafanello, who turned out of pressure in the right channel, 35 yards from goal, and produced a curling finish that picked out the top-left corner of the net to cut the deficit to a pair of goals.
New York almost added a second with 20 minutes to go as Juan Castillo flashed a first-time shot just over the crossbar from the left side of the penalty area, but the visitors last chance came in stoppage time when Mathias Jorgensen’s low shot was saved by Gomez to secure just the second home win for Republic FC this season.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Luis Felipe Fernandes, Sacramento Republic FC – Fernandes finished off a pair of excellent goals and had a big game gaining possession in midfield, winning 13 of 19 duels and recording five recoveries and two interceptions defensively.
SAC – Luis Felipe Fernandes (Dariusz Formella) 17’
SAC – Luis Felipe Fernandes (Duke Lacroix) 22’
SAC – Dariusz Formella 41’
NY – Jeremy Rafanello (Kyle Zajec) 62’