Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC broke its six-game winless streak to earn a 3-2 victory against Tulsa Roughnecks FC in front of a sellout crowd of 11,569 at Papa Murphy’s Park on Saturday night. The Roughnecks grabbed an early lead when a low cross by Juan Pablo Caffa from the left found Joey Calistri for a far-post finish. It proved the only big chance of the early going until the game swung toward Republic FC as the hosts first broke their scoreless streak on Danny Barrera’s finish from 14 yards in the 29th minute, and then two minutes later took the lead as Sammy Ochoa’s header put home a cross by James Kiffe. Tulsa was positive in looking for an equalizer in the second half, and got a big break when a free kick was allowed to bounce in the Republic FC penalty area and went off Julius James’ arm for a handball. Caffa slotted his finish into the left corner past Republic FC goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek to even the score. Sacramento regained the lead seven minutes later as Chris Christian headed home his first goal for the club from Barrera’s corner from the left, however, to send the side to victory.
7’ – TUL – Joey Calistri (Juan Pablo Caffa)
29’ – SAC – Danny Barrera (Sammy Ochoa)
31’ – SAC – Sammy Ochoa (James Kiffe)
67’ – TUL – Juan Pablo Caffa (penalty)
74’ – SAC – Chris Christian (Danny Barrera)
Three Things That Matter:
1. The feeling within Sacramento’s camp on its six-game scoreless streak was that if the team got one, it would get more in a hurry. That feeling couldn’t have proven more accurate than the two goals in three minute span that gave Tulsa its first lead since its last meeting with the Roughnecks on April 9 at ONEOK Field. Harry Williams didn’t get his name on the scoresheet, but he proved instrumental in driving the attack forward as Danny Barrera and Sammy Ochoa both finished with a goal and assist in a breakthrough performance for Sacramento’s attack.
2. The Roughnecks will be disappointed not to have taken something from Saturday night’s game for their point column, but there were still plenty of positives to take away for Tulsa. At the top of the list was the fortitude the side brought each time Republic FC went ahead. The Roughnecks have taken on a tremendous identity this season, and the team’s willingness to push not only for a draw on the road, but for a win should keep the team’s confidence high as it heads to Reno on Wednesday.
3. After earning victory in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night, Sacramento now has positive momentum coming into a key stretch of games that could vault the side back up the Western Conference standings quickly. A visit to Seattle next weekend is followed by contests with Rio Grande Valley FC and Reno 1868 FC. With only San Antonio and Real Monarchs SLC having achieved separation from the rest of the Western Conference as the season nears one-third complete, Republic FC will have a chance to push on strongly over the next few weeks.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Danny Barrera, Sacramento Republic FC – Barrera was dynamic throughout the contest, recording a goal and an assist to help Sacramento snap a six-game winless streak.
Sacramento Republic FC at Seattle Sounders FC 2 – May 28, 5 p.m. ET, Starfire Stadium
Tulsa Roughnecks FC at Reno 1868 FC – May 24, 10:30 p.m. ET, Greater Nevada Field