Sacramento Republic FC came out strong in the match pushing the ball forward and pressuring the Reno 1868 FC defense. The pressure looked to have paid off for Republic FC in just the 4th minute when a long pass by defender James Kiffe sprang forward Tyler Blackwood who went one-on-one with Reno goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell. Blackwood looked to chip a right-footed shot over the onrushing keeper, but Tarbell was able to deflect the ball away, keeping the match scoreless early.
After a lot of back and forth play for much of the middle of the first period, Reno would break the deadlock in the 39th minute. Reno forward Dane Kelly was able to intercept a Republic FC throw in near midfield. Kelly then played a one-two with Antoine Hoppenot on the right side before taking the ball down the side of the field. Kelly then sent a through ball back to Hoppenot who just got past the sliding reach of defender Chris Christian. Hoppenot then sent a grounded ball past Evan Newton that hit the back post and rolled into the back of the net to put Reno ahead 1-0.
Reno nearly doubled their lead in stoppage time on a free kick from a few yards outside the box. Midfielder Chris Wehan sent a driven ball into the box that went over the players in the box, including the hand of Newton who came out to punch the ball away, finding the head of Jordan Murrell who was wide open on the back post. Murrell looked to nod the ball into the empty net, but the ball went well over the post, keeping the score 1-0 going into the half.
Republic FC came out strong again in the second half looking for an equalizer. In the 47th minute, defender Elliott Hord took the ball down the right side before sending a cross into the box that found forward Sammy Ochoa who had found space between Reno defenders. Ochoa dove forward to redirect the cross toward goal, but his headed shot went wide left of the post keeping the score 1-0.
In the 59th minute Hord again sent a cross into the box. This time the cross cleared everyone, finding an open Agustin Cazarez near the back post. Cazarez settled the ball before blasting a left-footed shot on goal, but a sliding Seth Casiple and Tarbell were there to deflect the ball away. The ball went as far as Blackwood who looked to hit a curling left-footed shot into the upper right corner of the goal, but his shot went just high and wide of the goal.
Republic FC would have another good look at goal in the 62nd minute. This time Kiffe drove the ball down the left side of the field before sending a cross toward the middle of the box. Substitute forward Christian Chaney redirected the cross on target, but Tarbell was there again for the save punching the ball up and over the bar.
Reno would double their lead and seal a victory in the 73rd minute. Former Republic FC and current Reno midfielder Matt LaGrassa intercepted the ball in the middle of the pitch before quickly passing the ball wide to Casiple. The Granite Bay-native played a long ball to Kelly, starting the counter attack. Kelly drove the ball down the middle of the field before getting to the top of the box and striking a right-footed shot that deflected slightly off the back of Julius James and into the bottom left side of the goal putting Reno ahead for good at 2-0.
Republic FC returns home and to Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play when they host Real Salt Lake (MLS) on Wednesday, Jun. 14. Kickoff is 8 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park. Tickets are still available at Ticketmaster.com.
Scoring Summary: SAC – Antoine Hoppenot (Dane Kelly) 39, Dane Kelly 73.
Misconduct Summary: SAC – Julius James (caution) 14, Danny Barrera (caution) 64; RNO – Jimmy Ockford (caution) 56.
Sacramento Republic FC – Evan Newton; Elliott Hord, Julius James (Trevin Caesar 79), Chris Christian, James Kiffe; Jeremy Hall, Danny Barrera, Agustin Cazarez (Adam Moffat 84), Tyler Blackwood; Sammy Ochoa, Harry Williams (Christian Chaney 55).
Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek; Wilson Kneeshaw, Gabe Gissie, Lamin Suma.
Stats: Shots: 11, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 3, Fouls: 9, Corner Kicks: 6, Offside: 3.
Reno 1868 FC – Andrew Tarbell; Jordan Murrell, Jimmy Ockford, Brenton Griffiths, Brent Richards; Matt LaGrassa, Luis Felipe Fernandes (Seth Casiple 58), Chris Wehan, Lindo Mfecka; Antoine Hoppenot, Dane Kelly (Mackenzie Pridham 89).
Subs Not Used: Russell Klabough; Cameron Vickers, Matheus Silva, Anibal Echeverrria, Dembakwi Yomba.
Stats: Shots: 14, Shots on Goal: 5, Saves: 4, Fouls: 15, Corner Kicks: 4, Offside: 1.