San Jose, Calif. (June 11, 2019) — Sacramento Republic FC’s run in the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup came to an end after a seven-goal thriller in San Jose on Tuesday night.
Fans had barely taken their seats at Avaya Stadium when Sam Werner put Republic FC ahead. Jordan McCrary intercepted a ball at midfield and sprung Villyan Bijev free on the right wing. The former Liverpool FC player sent a low cross into the box that Werner finished to make it 1-0 in just the second minute.
San Jose responded just eight minutes later after dispossessing Republic FC in the final third. Magnus Eriksson dribbled to the edge of the box and fired potent, low shot that beat Josh Cohen at the far post.
The first-half tit for tat continued with Bijev restoring Republic FC’s lead with a brilliantly taken free kick from the edge of the box in the 14th minute.
Christian Espinoza then equalized from the spot with seven minutes to play in the half after former Republic FC midfielder Tommy Thompson was brought down in the box.
Josh Cohen made an acrobatic save in the 61st minute to keep the score level after it seemed Thompson’s long-range effort was headed to the upper corner of the net.
Earthquakes designated player Valeri Qazaishvili gave his side their first lead in the game with less than a quarter left to play. The Georgian international fired a shot from outside the box that deflected on a Republic FC defender and into the net.
Qazaishvili made it 4-2 in the first minute of stoppage time after being played through into the box by Espinoza and sliding a well-placed shot to the far post.
Republic FC refused to yield and kept the match close by scoring their third of the night with a minute left to play. Bijev beat his mark on the left wing to dribble into the box and fire a shot at goal that was saved by Andrew Tarbell. The rebound fell onto McCrary whose shot was also saved by Tarbell, but Drew Skundrich was well positioned to strike to home on the third try.
Despite the late effort ,Republic FC fell short and bows out of the tournament. Next up for the Indomitable Club is a home matchup in league play against Tulsa Roughnecks FC on June 22.
Scoring Summary: SAC – Sam Werner (Villyan Bijev) 2, Villyan Bijev 14, Drew Skundrich 90+3; SJ – Magnus Eriksson 10, Cristian Espinoza (penalty) 38, Valeri Qazaishvili 78, Valeri Qazaishvili (Cristian Espinoza) 90+1.
Misconduct Summary: SJ- Eric Calvillo (caution) 18; SAC – Matt Mahoney (caution) 45, Haris Chantzopoulos 52.
Sacramento Republic FC – Josh Cohen; Shannon Gomez, Matt Mahoney, Haris Chantzopoulos (Mitchell Taintor 65), Jordan McCrary; Ray Saari (Hayden Partain 83), Jaime Villarreal, Drew Skundrich, Sam Werner (Stefano Bonomo 69), Villyan Bijev, Cameron Iwasa.
Subs Not Used: Rafael Díaz, Juan Barahona, Dekel Keinan, Elliott Hord.
Stats – Shots: 15, Shots on Goal: 8, Saves: 8, Fouls: 17, Corner Kicks: 2, Offsides: 1.
San Jose Earthquakes – Andrew Tarbell, Tommy Thompson, Francois Affolter, Marcos Lopez, Florian Jungwirth (Valeri Qazaishvili 55), Cristian Espinoza, Siad Haji (Cade Cowell 69), Magnus Eriksson, Luis Felipe Fernandes, Eric Calvillo (Jimmy Ockford 81), Chris Wondolowski.
Subs Not Used: Daniel Vega, Kevin Partida, Jacob Akanyirige, Gilbert Fuentes.
Stats – Shots: 26, Shots on Goal: 12, Saves: 5, Fouls: 5, Corner Kicks: 9, Offsides: 1.
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