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Republic FC Resists Roughnecks Late

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 04/08/17, 10:11PM EDT


Ochoa at center of 2-1 victory as Sacramento stays perfect

Photo courtesy Lori Scholl / Tulsa Roughnecks FC

TULSA, Okla. – Sacramento Republic FC held on late to take a 2-1 victory against Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Saturday night at ONEOK Field for its third consecutive win to start the 2017 USL regular season. The game was open early on, but neither side found the net until Republic FC grabbed the lead three minutes into the second half as a low cross by Sammy Ochoa was knocked home by Wilson Kneeshaw for his second goal in as many games and a 1-0 lead. Ochoa was at the center of Republic FC’s second goal in the 67th minute as well, as his low shot could only be parried by Roughnecks goalkeeper Bryan Byars, allowing Tyler Blackwood to tap home the rebound. The Roughnecks threatened to get back into the game in the final 20 minutes, and Rivas forced a big save from Republic FC goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek. Then with 10 minutes to go a curled shot by Brady Ballew after a corner came back off the crossbar, and Joey Calistri finished for his second goal of the season. The Roughnecks almost equalized late on as Jorge Corrales’ volley went just over the bar, and Cristian Mata saw a stoppage-time effort dribble wide of the left post, but Sacramento held on to claim a valuable road win.

48’ – SAC – Wilson Kneeshaw (Sammy Ochoa)
67’ – SAC – Tyler Blackwood
80’ – TUL – Joey Calistri

Three Things That Matter:

  • 1. In his return to ONEOK Field, Sammy Ochoa wanted to put on a big performance, and while the veteran striker didn’t find the net himself he was integral to Republic FC’s two goals that paved the way to victory. Ochoa provided the assist on Wilson Kneeshaw’s opening goal as the duo’s partnership continued to bloom for a second consecutive week, and almost notched the second, Tyler Blackwood the beneficiary of a simple rebound. Ochoa’s time in Tulsa was memorable, but he’ll be glad to be taking three points home from his former club.

  • 2. When the 2017 USL schedule was released, the Roughnecks were tagged with having the toughest opening stretch of the season for any team in the league. Three games in, and the Roughnecks are looking like a very strong proposition after going toe-to-toe with the side that finished top of the Western Conference a season ago. The offseason hiring of David Vaudreuil as Head Coach, and the additions he has made to the squad, have given the side a new lease of life, and the hosts were maybe a little unlucky not to get something out of the game late.

  • 3. Sacramento was made to work for it, but emerged with a third win from three to start the season, and now will look to complete a sweep in the Sooner state on Tuesday night in the first USL Game of the Week on ESPN3 of the season. With Energy FC still looking for its first win of the season after being edged out tonight by Rio Grande Valley FC, the stage is set for a massive early-season contest at Taft Stadium. Man of the Match

Sammy Ochoa, Sacramento Republic FC – The former Roughneck made the difference for Sacramento, playing the key role in both goals as his side took victory.

Upcoming Games:
Tulsa Roughnecks FC
at Rio Grande Valley FC – April 22, 8:30 p.m. ET, H-E-B Park
Sacramento Republic FC at OKC Energy FC – April 11, 8:30 p.m. ET, Taft Stadium (ESPN3)

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