Republic FC trailed Saturday night’s match against Los Angeles Galaxy II in the very first minute, but that goal was all they gave up in a 2-1 win at Papa Murphy’s Park.
Ethan Zubak scored the opening goal immediately for Galaxy II, and it took Republic FC until the 26th minute to equalize with a header from midfielder Luis Espino, whom the club had signed just two days earlier. Sammy Ochoa notched the assist.
The go-ahead goal was a 61st-minute long strike from Villyan Bijev, who was well outside the box.
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Republic FC held on through the rest of regulation and three minutes of stoppage to earn the win and three points in the USL standings, improving the team’s record to 12-8-6. Sacramento leapfrogged Tulsa for the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference for the time being, though Tulsa can retake that spot by winning its match Sunday.
As the USL’s playoff race report explained before the weekend, Republic FC now needs 10 points in the standings to clinch with six matches left to play – its next three at Papa Murphy’s Park, starting 7:30 p.m. next Saturday vs. Oklahoma City, and its final three on the road.