Sacramento, Calif. (April 5, 2023) – Republic FC bested NPSL side Crossfire in the Second Round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night, securing a spot in the third round for the eighth consecutive tournament.
A back-and-forth match required extra time to decide who would move on to the Third Round, with Johnny Fenwick netting the winner late. Five combined goals were scored in additional time with both clubs gunning for the next round. A valiant effort by the visiting side kept Sacramento on their heels all evening as the club avoided an early cupset exit.
The visitors got off to a fast start, netting the opening score to Sacramento’s surprise just 7 minutes in. A defensive lapse allowed Crossfire to net another five minutes later, putting the Quails at a two-goal disadvantage before the 15-minute mark.
For the first time all season, the starting XI would include new names and faces – from players on debut to those logging their first minutes of the season. The match saw two Republic FC Academy products tally their first team debuts. Defender Ermias Yohannes featured in the starting eleven, while forward Ethan Kelly entered as an extra time substitute for Zeiko Lewis. Each joined the club’s roster earlier this week on Academy Contracts.
Changes at the break had Sacramento on the front foot early in the second half, as Russell Cicerone, Jack Gurr and Jared Timmer entered for their 2023 tournament debuts. The club nearly got one back just after the hour mark, but a save by the opposing keeper denied Zeiko Lewis from just inside the penalty area.
Sacramento cut their deficit in half with ten minutes to go in regulation. After fielding a cross from Jack Gurr, Aldair Sanchez found Zeiko Lewis inside the six-yard box who put it in the back of the net. The play earned Sanchez his first pro assist. Sanchez assisted Russell Cicerone as the club evened the scoreline five minutes later, earning him a two-assist performance in his first start.
Three scores from Sacramento, and five between both clubs kept the action tight after 90 minutes passed. Crossfire pulled ahead in the 92nd minute, but Sacramento got one back as Jack Gurr assisted Russell Cicerone to even the match at three. Sacramento pulled ahead again when Zeiko Lewis bagged his second of the match – marking his third career brace. But Republic FC would have to net one more after another equalizer from Crossfire, with Fenwick’s winner finding the net in the 111th minute.
The Third Round Draw will be held Thursday, April 6 at 3:30 p.m. PT. The draw will be streamed live on the B/R App and B/R Football YouTube Channel, embedded in the same live stream as the Richmond Kickers vs. Cleveland SC match that will kickoff at 4:10 p.m. PT.
Republic FC returns to league play this Saturday, April 8 when the club travels to face defending USL Championship final winner San Antonio FC. Kickoff is set for 5:30 pm. From Toyota Field in San Antonio, Texas. The match will be broadcast live on Antenna TV 40.2, FOX40.com and the FOX40 News Mobile App, and streaming on ESPN+. The Indomitable Club returns home the following week on April 15 to face Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.
Sacramento Republic FC 5 – 4 Crossfire
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Heart Health Park, Sacramento, California
April 5, 2023
Scoring Summary: SAC – Zeiko Lewis (Aldair Sanchez) 80’, Russell Cicerone (Aldair Sanchez) 85’, Russell Cicerone (Jack Gurr) 97’, Zeiko Lewis (Keko Gontán) 105’, Johnny Fenwick 112’ XF – Richard Aman 7’, River Stewart 13’, Munier Hussen 92’, Richard Aman 111’
Misconduct Summary: SAC – Ermias Yohannes (caution) 30’, Jack Gurr (caution) 82’, Carlos Saldaña (caution) 120+2’ XF – Michael Gallagher (caution) 63’, Christian Soto-Rincon (caution) 73’
Sacramento Republic FC: Carlos Saldaña, Aldair Sanchez, Panzani Ferrety Sousa (Jack Gurr 45’), Johnny Fenwick, Ermias Yohannes (Jared Timmer 45’), Nick Ross, Matt LaGrassa (C) (Luis Felipe 63’), Zeiko Lewis (Ethan Kelly 105’), Rafael Jauregui (Keko Gontán 63’), Mario Penagos (Russell Cicerone 45’), Luther Archimède
Unused substitutes: Danny Vitiello
Crossfire: Saif Kerawala, Julian Avila Good, Paolo Collelo (Connor Lofy 63’), Michael Gallagher, Eric Howard (Lucas Heuswirth 73’), Munier Hussen, Richard Aman, Kalani Kossa-Rienzi, Samuel Langston (Bryce Allred 105’), Christian Soto-Rincon (C), River Stewart (Jack Civitts 63’, Hamza Haddadi 88’)
Unused Substitutes: Samuel Dahlin, Kael McGowan