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eCup Recap: Republic FC, Mexico 3-2 Charleston Battery, Greece

By William Strome, 05/14/20, 6:45PM PDT

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A brilliant Juan Barahona guided El Tri to a splendid Semifinal win over the 2004 UEFA European Champions and solidified a spot in Friday’s Division B Championship against NE Revs II’s Russia.

The Indomitable Club’s Mexican National Team netted three stunning strikes en route to a 3-2 win over Charleston Battery - competing as Greece - during Thursday's Semifinal match of the USL eCup FIFA20 Edition.

Current Republic FC defender Juan Barahona made his debut for the boys in Old Glory Red and the left back put forth a very convincing effort, especially on the offensive front. Not only was this game a first for the Salvadorian, but it was also the first match the club broadcast in Spanish. 

The win secures a spot in week one's Division B Championship fixture Friday at 5:30 p.m. PT against New England Revolution II - representing Russia. 

It didn't take long for Barahona to get Mexico – who’ve already secured promotion to Division A next week – out in front when Raul Jimenez netted his team-best fifth goal in the 16th minute after some scintillating passing from his compatriots. Jesus Gallardo and Jesus Corona played a perfect give-and-go before Gallardo spotted the Wolves striker who steered his shot into the back of the net. 

Mexico doubled its lead four minutes later when Andres Guardado nodded home a powerful header after Hirving Lozano played a ball back in off the end line. Lozano’s shot was saved by the Greek goalkeeper but 'Chucky' was able to keep the ball in play and guided a header towards the captain who connected with a header of his own that beat the visiting shot-stopper. 

Greece managed to get one back before the break when Ioannis Fetfatzidis weaved his way into El Tri’s box and sunk his shot from point blank. 

But Mexico kept its foot on the gas pedal and were rewarded for pushing forward when Corona scored his first goal of the tournament. The versatile playmaker slammed his right-footed effort from close range into goal after constant pressure from El Tri forced Greece into a turnover in its own half that Luis Rodriguez collected then rifled a well-weighted ball to Corona who delivered the game-winner. 

Greece managed to find a second goal in the 90th minute when Dimitris Limnios slipped one by Guillermo Ochoa to cement the final score at 3-2. 

Returning to action for Republic FC in the Championship contest will be Justin Sterk, winner of the inaugural SRFCxFIFA20 Tournament, in control of El Tri against NE's Russian squad. Kick off is set for 5:30 p.m. PT and the fixture will be streamed live on the club’s Twitch stream, twitch.tv/SacramentoRepublicFC/.

All Republic FC supporters keeping tabs on the Indomitable Club’s eCup matches have the opportunity to donate to SRFC partner Raley’s Food for Families, the charity the club will be representing throughout the tournament. Additional information about the eCup competition can be found on the official USL eCup: FIFA20 Edition page and the full schedule can be found on the eCup Schedule page. 

USL eCup FIFA20 Edition

Division B | Semifinal Game

Thursday May 14, 2020

Venue: Estadio Azteca

Juan’s Starting XI – Guillermo Ochoa; Jesus Gallardo, Nestor Araujo, Hector Moreno, Luis Rodriguez; Hector Herrera, Andres Guardado ©, Jonathan dos Santos; Hirving Lozano, Jesus Corona, Raul Jimenez.

Scoring Summary – SAC – Raul Jimenez (16’), Andres Guardado (20’), Jesus Corona (63’); CHS – Ioannis Fetfatzidis (40’), Dimitris Limnios (90’). 

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