Sacramento Republic FC rallied from going down inside the opening minute to take a 2-1 victory against Rio Grande Valley FC at Papa Murphy’s Park on Saturday night. Houston Dynamo defender A.J. DeLaGarza made his return to game action with a 45 minute stint after over nine months spent recovering from an ACL injury suffered at the end of the 2017 season.
The Toros took the lead after 28 seconds as Carlos Small scored the fastest goal in club history with a sharp finish from the right side of the penalty area following a swift passing move to release him into the box. Nicolas Perea also went close for the visitors in the fifth minute that forced a good save to keep out a long-range effort that was headed for the top-right corner, while Jesus Enriquez again tested Cohen with a low shot to the left corner in midway through the first half.
Sacramento almost leveled 10 minutes before halftime as Villyan Bijev’s finish was kept out by RGVFC goalkeeper Tyler Deric, but the hosts found an equalizer in the 61st minute as Cameron Iwasa scored his 27th goal of the club, setting a Republic FC record as he broke a tie with Rodrigo Lopez. Republic FC then took the lead seven minutes later as Jeremy Hall headed home Keven Aleman’s free kick from the left into the right corner of the net.
The Toros almost grabbed a late equalizer through Pablo Aguilar as his volleyed finish went just wide of the right post, but Sacramento held defensively late on to pick up its fourth victory in the past five games.