Republic beats Dayton for fifth straight win

Midfielder Octavio Guzman and forward Dakota Collins tallied goals off well-executed assists by Nemanja Vukovic and Rodrigo Lopez, respectively, and Republic FC held off a flurry of second-half threats to defeat the Dayton Dutch Lions FC 2-1 on Sunday in a USL Pro match in West Carollton, Ohio.

It was the fifth consecutive win and fourth in USL Pro for Republic FC (6-3-1, 19 points). The Dutch Lions fell to 2-5-2.

Collins scored in the 13th minute after a 20-yard chip from Lopez, Republic FC’s crafty midfielder. Collins, who split the defense at just above the penalty area, one-touched the ball past on-rushing goalkeeper Brad Stuver.

Aaron Schoenfeld, a Columbus Crew loan player, scored the equalizer in the 42rd minute on a penalty kick after Harrison Delbridge brought down forward Eli Garner in the box. Republic FC goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek dived to his left and appeared to get a hand on Schoenfeld’s ball but not enough to redirect it away from the goal.

Guzman scored the eventual game winner six minutes into the second half when Vukovic delivered a pinpoint ball from the left side after receiving a crossing pass from Emrah Klimenta. The unmarked Guzman rushed the goal box and hit a one-touch, right-footed shot past Stuver into the left corner of the net. It was Guzman’s first goal as a pro.

Republic FC returns home to play the Fresno Fuego on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Cosumnes River College in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.

– Bill Paterson