SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A pair of second-half goals and a standout goalkeeper performance by Justin vom Steeg earned the LA Galaxy II a 2-0 victory against Sacramento Republic FC on Sunday afternoon at Heart Health Park as the hosts were unable to make their pressure tell while Los Dos claimed its second consecutive win.
Republic FC took the initiative from the early going and created the first good chance in the 14th minute as Emil Cuello was played into the left side of the penalty area by Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu for a left-footed shot that flashed just over the crossbar. Los Dos’ first chance arrived a couple of minutes later as a corner kick was half-cleared to Josh Drack, whose volleyed effort went wide of the right post from the top of the penalty area.
The team continued to exchange half-chances as Republic FC had the better of the territory in the first half overall, but the game reached the break scoreless. Sacramento almost made that pressure tell early in the second half as off a set piece from the right an attempt to clear by the Galaxy II caromed off Dan Casey eight yards out and toward goal, only for Los Dos’ vom Steeg to make an excellent reaction save. Vom Steeg had to be alert again a few minutes later when Jerome Kiesewetter was played into the right side of the penalty area and tried to cut a low cross into the six-yard area that hit LA defender Jalen Neal and was kept out by his goalkeeper to avoid an own goal.
Republic FC threatened again just past the hour-mark as Wheeler-Omiunu played a pass into Kharlton Belmar’s feet that allowed him to turn onto his right foot at the top of the penalty area but send his finish just high and wide of the near post. The Galaxy II took the lead in the 67th minute, however, as Republic FC goalkeeper Rafael Diaz was unable to handle a free kick cleanly and Jalen Neal put away the loose ball into the net for the visitors.
The goal increased the urgency for the visitors to find a breakthrough of their own, and two minutes later they had a chance to respond as Casey headed a corner kick from the left toward the right corner where Vom Steeg made another excellent save. Four minutes later Los Dos’ shotstopper came up with another big stop to keep out Luis Felipe Fernandes’ shot from 14 yards to the bottom-left corner, while in the 85th minute Maalique Foster stretched for a header that went just off target after a good cross from the left by Formella.
Los Dos put the game away in the final minute, however, as Jorge Hernandez created space on the left to deliver a low cross through the top of the six-yard area that Cameron Dunbar put away at the back post for a two-goal advantage. Dunbar had another chance in stoppage time on a counterattack as Preston Judd played a pass into his charging run upfield, only for the finish to go wide of the left post, but that proved academic as LA returned to the thick of the Pacific Division’s playoff race.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Justin vom Steeg, LA Galaxy II – Vom Steeg kept the Galaxy II on level terms before the side went ahead and then kept that lead with a pair of clutch saves late to earn a big win for the side’s playoff chances.
LA – Jalen Neal 68’
LA – Cameron Dunbar (Jorge Hernandez) 90’