Photo courtesy Charis Wilson / Seattle Sounders FC 2
TACOMA, Wash. – After falling on Wednesday night, Sacramento Republic FC bounced back with an impressive 2-1 win against Seattle Sounders FC 2 at Cheney Stadium on Sunday afternoon to move on top of the USL's Western Conference standings. Sacramento’s Villyan Bijev forced the game-winning tally in the 82nd minute of the match, as his shot rebounded off the post and then deflected off S2 goalkeeper Bryan Meredith before crossing the goal line. Mitchell Taintor fired in the first goal of the match for Republic FC in the 41st minute after the team came close on a couple of occasions in the first half. Sacramento looked in control of the match to close out the half, but S2 came out swinging in the second half and finally found an equalizer through Felix Chenkam after a deflected Nicholas Hinds pass fell into his path in front of goal. The home side battled for yet another equalizer following the own goal late into the match, but Sacramento was able to to hold on for all three points. With the result, Sacramento improves to 5-1-3 on the year, while S2 falls to 2-5-1 this campaign.
41’ – SAC – Mitchell Taintor (Jeremy Hall)
61’ – SEA – Felix Chenkam
82’ – SAC – Bryan Meredith (Own Goal)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Sacramento fell for the first time this season on Wednesday against the Portland Timbers 2, but the side was not going to return from its Cascadia road trip without a win. Republic FC, one of the favorites to top the Western Conference this season, improves to 2-1-2 on the road this year and has officially won the three-game series against S2 after earning a 1-0 win against its Northwestern foe at Papa Murphy’s Park on April 7.
2. S2 dropped its third game of the year at Cheney Stadium, and fell for the fifth time this USL season after a two-game unbeaten run. While S2 will want better results, especially at home, many members impressed on Sunday – a sign of good things to come later this year. In particular, Felix Chenkam was a bright spot, scoring the team’s only goal in the 61st minute and combining well in the final third throughout the match.
3. While Sunday’s match was not one to write home about for Sacramento, the result was indicative of a USL Cup-contending side. Republic FC now sits atop the Western Conference with 18 points on the season, leading both Orange County SC and Real Monarchs SLC by two points following Week 8 action. With a game against 12th-placed Reno 1868 FC coming up next, Sacramento will be more than happy with its performance to date this campaign.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Jeremy Hall, Sacramento Republic FC – The captain performed well on both the offensive and defensive ends for Sacramento, recording an assist, two interceptions, one clearance and one tackle to help his side earn the victory.
Sacramento Republic FC vs. Reno 1868 FC – May 12, 10:30 p.m. ET, Papa Murphy’s Park
Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. Portland Timbers 2 – May 12, 8 p.m. ET, Cheney Stadium