Sammy Ochoa’s brace helps earn Sacramento Republic FC a 2-2 draw with Reno 1868 FC and a point in their final USL regular season match.
The match started well for Sacramento Republic FC who came out strong and on the front foot. In just the 16th minute Republic FC would break through the Reno 1868 FC defense for the first goal of the match. Defender James Kiffe brought the ball down the left side of the field near the edge of the box before sending in a cross to the middle of the box. Forward Sammy Ochoa ran into the middle before leaping over two defenders and heading the ball down and past the keeper Matt Bersano, putting Republic FC ahead 1-0 early.
Reno 1868 FC would find their equalizer near the halftime whistle in the 41st minute. Midfielder Seth Casiple played the ball to Chris Wehan in the middle near the top of the box. Wehan turned and played a one-two with forward Brent Richards who put the ball right back to the foot of Wehan for him to tap the ball past Evan Newton to level the score 1-1 going into the half.
Reno started the second half quickly, taking the lead in the 51st minute. A long ball, lofted ball into the middle connected with Richards who had beat Republic FC’s offside trap. The forward went one-on-one with Newton, trying to slide a low shot past the onrushing keeper. Newton was able to deflect Richard’s shot on his slide, but Antoine Hoppenot was following the play perfectly and poked the rebound past Newton and into the back of the net to put Reno ahead 2-1 early in the second half.
Republic FC would respond to the goal, however, finding an equalizer of their own in the 67th minute. A ball down the right side sprung substitute forward Wilson Kneeshaw free. Kneeshaw carried the ball to almost the endline before sending a grounded cross in front of goal that was just out of the grasp of Bersano and found a sliding Ochoa, who redirected the ball on a slide to earn a brace and even the score at 2-2.
Despite numerous chances for both sides, including a few attacks from Kneeshaw and a corner attempt by Reno that was batted around multiple times in the box, the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
Republic FC will await the result of the Oklahoma City Energy FC versus Seattle Sounders FC 2 match on Sunday, Oct. 15 to determine where they will play their USL Cup Western Conference Quarterfinal playoff match. With an Energy FC win, tie or loss by one goal when scoring two or more goals, Republic FC will face Real Monarchs SLC. If Energy FC lose by more then one goal, or lose by one goal, but fail to score two goals, Republic FC will face San Antonio FC in the first round.
Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations