The match started well for Republic FC who dominated possession and pressured the Arizona United SC defense. In the 7th minute Republic FC got their first clear look at a goal. Forward Thomas Stewart got behind the defense and had a one-on-on with Arizona goalkeeper Evan Newton. Stewart was able to draw Newton out toward him before sending a cross on the ground to Adam Jahn, whose shot went just wide left of the goal.
Despite being constantly pressured by the Republic FC offense, Arizona would have a few chances of their own. The best look for Arizona would come during first half stoppage time. Defender Scott Morrison took a free kick from about five yards outside of the box which ricocheted off of the wall and toward the box. The bouncing ball looked as if it might find an Arizona player, but was cleared out by midfielder Octavio Guzman to end the half in a scoreless tie.
Republic FC would again be the aggressor in the second half and would gain a 1-0 advantage in the 53rd minute. Midfielder Rodrigo Lopez had the ball at the top of the box, faked shot, drove left and passes to Stewart who waited over the before passing back to midfieler JJ Koval, who was following the play. Koval took the pass and sent a low right-footed strike into the bottom right corner of the net putting Republic FC up 1-0. The goal was the first in USL PRO play for Koval after being loaned to Republic FC from the San Jose Earthquakes.
The lead for Republic FC would be short-lived. In the 65th minute, Arizona substitute midfielder Jon Okafor drove the right side of the field then found fellow substitute, Jonathan Top, at the top of the box. Top rocketed a shot past a diving Jake Gleeson tying the score 1-1.
Republic FC would immediately get back on the offensive after the equalizer. In the 78th minute substitute forward Justin Braun would give Republic FC the lead again. Braun beat his man creating a one-on-one with Newton. Braun drew Newton off his line before chipping a ball over his head and into the bottom of the net.
Republic FC would hold on for the final ten minutes for their twelfth win of the season. The match was one dominated by subs with two of the three goal coming from substitute players including Arizona’s goal which was scored and assisted by subs.
“It was a huge result for us,” said Republic FC defender Emrah Klimenta following the match. “I thought the team fought hard and we walked away with a good result. We want to do our best to bring playoff games to Sacramento. The city deserves it.”
With the win Republic FC moved into third place in the USL PRO standings just six points behind the second place Richmond Kickers with a game in hand. Republic FC will return home to face Oklahoma City Energy FC on Saturday, August 9 at Bonney Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm. Tickets are still available and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com.
Scoring Summary: SRFC – JJ Koval (Thomas Stewart) 53, Justin Braun 78; AZU – Jonathan Top (Jon Okafor) 65.
Misconduct Summary: AZU - Long Tan (caution) 32, Paolo DelPiccolo (caution) 42, Austin Daniels (ejection) 43, Scott Morrison (caution) 65, Jalen Robinson (caution) 85, Jonathan Top (caution) 90; SRFC – Octavio Guzman (caution) 82.
Sacramento Republic FC –Jake Gleeson; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly, Harrison Delbridge, Chad Bartlomé (Jack Avesyan 73); JJ Koval, Octavio Guzman, Max Alvarez (Gabe Gissie 67), Rodrigo Lopez; Thomas Stewart (Dakota Collins 74), Adam Jahn (Justin Braun 66).
Arizona United SC – Evan Newton, Tyler Ruthven (Sam Garza 84), London Woodberry, Jalen Robinson, Scott Morrison; Paolo DelPiccolo (Jonathan Top 58), Daniel Antúnez (Joey Dillon 45), Matt Kassel, Brad Stisser; Schillo Tshuma (Jon Okafor 62), Long Tan.