Sacramento Republic FC clinch a playoff spot with a road victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 behind a brace from captain Justin Braun.
Republic FC started the game strong, possessing the ball and getting the majority of the positive opportunities in the first half. Despite their start, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 had the first strong opportunity on goal in the 25th minute. Midfielder Tyler Rosenlund sent a well-weighted ball from the right side of the box to Marco Bustos who settled the pass and sent a shot on goal. However, Republic FC goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek proved he was up to the task, making a sliding save on the shot.
Republic FC would open the scoring shortly after in the 29th minute. Midfielder Rodrigo Lopez played a ball into the box to Tommy Thompson who turned with the ball and made the short pass to Justin Braun. Taking the ball from the middle to the right side of the six-yard box, Braun sent a hard right footed shot past Whitecaps FC 2 keeper Paolo Tornaghi. The goal put Republic FC ahead 1-0, a lead that would hold until after halftime.
Whitecaps FC came out the aggressor in the second half and found an equalizing goal in the 66th minute. Substitute midfielder Victor Blasco wove around the Republic FC defense in the midfield before sending a through ball to Bustos, who was streaking down the middle of the field. Bustos touched Blasco’s pass around an onrushing Jakubek and then sent a left footed strike into an open net, tying the score 1-1.
Republic FC quickly answered with a second goal from their captain. In the 71st minute defender Emrah Klimenta won the ball on the right wing then rushed around the defense and down the endline to the right edge of the box. Klimenta then sent a low, driven cross toward the goal. Braun, standing nearpost, redirected the cross into the goal with his right foot, putting Republic FC ahead 2-1.
With the win, Republic FC clinched a playoff berth in the 2015 USL Playoffs and moved into fifth place in the Western Conference. Despite their fifth place standing, Republic FC sits just two points out of first place. Republic FC will look to better their playoff position when they are back in action again on Saturday, September 12 in Portland, Ore. against Portland Timbers 2. Kickoff is 7 p.m. PDT.
Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations