Second Half Goals Help Republic to Home Opener Win
SACRAMENTO, California - A pair of second half goals in a span of seven minutes helped Sacramento Republic FC bag all three points in a 3-1 win over Las Vegas Lights FC Wednesday night at Heart Health Park.
It was Republic's third home opener in franchise history with at least three goals, and first since 2017.
"The fans tonight were electric," head coach Mark Briggs said of the home crowd. "To consider there were only 2,300 fans in the stadium, it was so loud, they were so passionate. It just excites me to imagine what it will be like when there's a full house.".
The Indomitable crowd didn't have to wait long for the first home goal in 14 months. Man of the Match Dariusz Formella slotted home a cross from Shannon Gomez for the opening strike.
Formella, who made his Sacramento Republic debut against the same Las Vegas side in a scoreless draw in 2019, was rewarded after logging a shot in last week's 1-0 win over LA Galaxy II.
Republic started to gain control over the possession battle 30 minutes in as Pete Pennanen nearly doubled Republic's lead in the 32nd minute. Pennanen drove a ball off his right foot from just outside the 18 that missed the right post.
SRFC put the pressure on Las Vegas in first half stoppage time with two chances to double the lead, including Mitchell Taintor sliding a perfect ball behind the defender to Tucker Bone.
Las Vegas leveled the match from the spot in the 52nd minute on a penalty conversion from Danny Musovski after Taintor was carded for a foul in the box.
In true indomitable fashion, Sacramento Republic quickly got back on the offensive with a pair of goals in a seven-minute span. Bone broke the deadlock in the 65th minute, bending a ball into the bottom right corner off his right foot. After coming over from Reno 1868 FC at the end of last season, it was Bone's second goal in as many games after netting the game-winner in last week's 1-0 win over LA Galaxy II.
Villarreal joined the scoring party in the 72nd minute off an assist from Formella, just four minutes after subbing on for Luis Felipe in the midfield.
The boys in Old Glory Red are back in action on May 22 with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff at Orange County SC.
Sacramento Republic 3-1 Las Vegas Lights FC
Heart Health Park, Sacramento, California
May 12, 2021
Scoring Summary: SAC - Formella (Gomez) 13'; LVL - Musovski 52'; SAC - Bone 65'; SAC - Villareal (Formella) 72'
Sacramento Republic FC: Tomas Gomez, Shannon Gomez, Mitch Taintor, Andrew Wheeler-Omiuni, Dan Casey, Duke Lacroix, Pete Pennanen, Luis Felipe (Jaime Villareal 68'), Dariusz Formella, Tucker Bone (Julian Chavez 87'), Kharlton Belmar (Mario Penagos 78')
Unused substitutes: Rafael Diaz, Hayden Sargis, Jordan McCrary, Rafael Jauregui
Stats - Shots: 11, Shots on Goal: 5, Saves: 3, Fouls: 18, Corner Kicks: 4, Offsides: 3.
Las Vegas Lights FC: Tomas Romero, Alvaro Quezada, Chienye Uche, Nathan Sepulveda, Julian Gaines, Bryce Duke, Daniel Crisostomo, Frank Daroma (Christian Torres 70'), Caleb Jennings, Danny Musovski (Paul Son 84'), Kwandwo Opoku (Roberto Molina, 36')
Unused substitutes: Duncan Turnbull, Diego Rosales, Paul Son, Christopher Jaime, Julian Vasquez
Stats - Shots: 13, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 2, Fouls: 8, Corner Kicks: 2, Offsides: 1.
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