IRVINE, Calif. – Erick “Cubo” Torres scored his first goal in Orange County SC colors to earn the hosts a point in a 1-1 draw against Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday night at Championship Soccer Stadium after the visitors had taken an early lead.
Sacramento made an ideal start as they took the lead after just 78 seconds as a piercing pass by Dan Casey played Damia Viader in behind the OCSC defense, and the 2021 USL League One Defender of the Year cut past the onrushing goalkeeper before finishing into an open net. Orange County got the chance to level from the penalty spot midway through the half, however, after Milan Iloski was brought down in the box, and Torres delivered with a powerful finish from the spot to equalize.
The visitors had a chance to quickly regain the lead as a good piece of interplay by Keko and Rodrigo Lopez set up the Spaniard for a shot from the right side of the penalty area to the far corner that was well saved by OCSC’s Patrick Rakovsky. The game remained even into the second half, however, where chances became few and far between. The hosts almost grabbed the lead with 13 minutes to go when Torres stole possession and played Iloski into the left side of the penalty area only for Sacramento’s Danny Vitiello to come off his line sharply to make the save.
Orange County threatened again with five minutes to go as Kobi Henry had a header kept out by Vitiello off a corner kick from the right by Seth Casiple, and in the late going it appeared the hosts were more likely to grab a winner as Iloski volleyed wide of the right post in stoppage time. The contest ended all square, however, as the California sides shared the spoils.
USLChampionship.com Player of the Match
Damia Viader, Sacramento Republic FC – Viader scored the opening goal of the game for the visitors, had three shots overall and completed 17 of 23 passes while winning 4 of 6 duels.
SAC – Damia Viader (Dan Casey) 2’
OC – Erick Torres (Penalty Kick) 26’