The Sacramento Republic FC was handed its first loss of the 2021 USL Championship campaign by Orange County SC, 1-0, in Southern California on May 22.
The Republic FC were unable to break the hosts backline despite creating more scoring chances, 9-8, taking more shots, 12-11, and winning the time of possession battle, 60% to 40%.
Both Tucker Bone and Kharlton Belmar, who was making his 150th career USL Championship appearance, created two scoring chances a piece against Orange County in the first of four regular season clashes between the two Pacific Division clubs.
Goalkeeper Tomas Gomez kept his side firmly in the match and within one of the hosts by making three saves on the night – early on as well, including a blistering shot in the fourth minute that Gomez held on to before he swatted away a dangerous effort in the 15th.
One minute after Gomez’s first stop, Republic FC pushed forward and nearly broke through by way of Pete Pennanen whose long-range effort forced the Orange County goalkeeper into dropping low to deny Mark Briggs’ men the first half advantage.
Just over the half hour mark, OCSC’s Thomas Enevoldsen picked out midfielder Chris Wehan who delivered the game’s lone goal.
Sac Republic FC will return to Sacramento for a Saturday night showdown on May 29 at Heart Health Park against Phoenix Rising FC with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.