Republic FC suffers second loss of the season, play second half a man down.
Sacramento Republic FC came out as the attacking side constantly pressuring the Arizona United SC back line. In the 27th minute the attack broke through and produced Rodrigo Lopez’s first goal of the year. Lopez took the ball down the middle of the defense, passed the ball to forward Thomas Stewart and then received it back with space allowing him to hammer home the goal.
Arizona seemed to come alive after giving up the goal and was able to tie the score in the 38th minute. Forward Brandon Swartzendruber was able to find his way behind the defense and finish.
Arizona almost scored again during stoppage time in the first half when Republic FC defender Mickey Daly was shown a red card after pulling down an Arizona player in the box. Arizona captain Matt Kassel took the penalty that was blocked by Republic FC goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek.
Republic FC came out strong in the second half despite being down a man. Their best chance for a goal came in the 78th minute when Stewart came racing down the middle of the field and took a great shot on goal only to have the ball deflected out by Arizona goalkeeper Evan Newton.
Arizona took the lead in the 85th minute when the ball was crossed into the box where forward John Top headed the ball across goal. A jumping Joseph Toby was able to strike the ball cleanly past Jakubek making the score 2-1.
“We have to, as a team, be disciplined and smart with the fouls that we commit,” said defender Emrah Klimenta following the match. “We had to dig deep and show a lot of character, poise and heart to keep playing and keep creating chances which we ultimately did. Unfortunately, the team that created more chances, even with a man down, lost tonight.”
Both of Republic FC’s losses this season have come in matches where they have had a man sent off with a red card. Against Orange County Blues FC on April 12 defender Harrison Delbridge was sent off after taking down a man in front of the goal box. Orange County scored on the ensuring free kick that gave them the lead and eventually the win.
The match was the last in a stretch of five straight road matches for Republic FC, the second longest road streak in the USL PRO this year. They ended the stretch 2-2-1, which was good for 7 points. Republic FC will host the Harrisburg City Islanders in their Inaugural Home Opener on April 26. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Hughes Stadium on the campus of Sacramento City College.
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