Republic FC created several chances in the first half, forcing a number of saves from Fresno goalkeeper Francisco Hernandez. In just the 3rd minute Justin Braun went two on one with the Fresno defense, but lost control of the ball and couldn’t get strong shot.
The game began to heat up towards the end of the first half, and Fuego defender Alfred Edmonds was sent off in the 41st minute, after receiving his second yellow card of the game. Republic FC could not capitalize on the ensuing free kick, but a minute into stoppage time, Nemanja Vuković put Republic FC ahead. Midfielder Octavio Guzman received a pass in front of the box, played the ball forward to Vuković who blasted it into the upper right corner of the net, to put Republic FC up 1-0 at the end of the half.
Republic FC continued their strong play in the second half, scoring their first goal of the second half in the 53rd minute. Forward Thomas Stewart ran down the middle and passed to Braun, who converted to put up Republic FC 2-0.
In the 61st minute, Stewart was again involved and received a ball from second half substitute Rodrigo Lopez, and slotted the ball past Hernandez for Republic FC’s third goal of the game.
Republic FC did not let up scoring in the 76th minute. Lopez dribbled past two defenders, passed to himself then calmly put the ball past Hernandez putting Republic FC up 4-0.
Emrah Klimenta scored his first of the and the fifth goal of the game in the 81st minute. Klimenta received a pass from Lopez, and chipped it past Hernandez.
New Republic FC player and Portland Timbers loan player Steven Evans finished the night scoring his first goal for Republic FC in the 90th minute. Evans passed the ball to Carlos Martinez then received it back before chipping the ball into the goal to give Republic FC a final 6-0 lead.
The match ended in a tense manner and in the last minute of the game, Ivan Mirkovic was handed a second yellow card and was sent off. Fresno was awarded a penalty kick, but goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek blocked the ball then saved the rebound to preserve the shutout for Republic FC.
“It was a good win, a good team we played against, they made it hard for us in the first half,” said Rodrigo Lopez following the match. “We finally have some momentum going and now it is about being here to keep winning games.”
With the win Republic FC advances to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup and will face their MLS affiliates the San Jose Earthquakes on June 11. The match is scheduled for 7:00 pm at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. Tickets are $20 and are available at sjearthquakes.com.
Scoring Summary: SRFC – Nemanja Vuković (Octavio Guzman) 45, Justin Braun (Thomas Stewart) 53, Thomas Stewart (Rodrigo Lopez) 61, Rodrigo Lopez 76, Emrah Klimenta (Rodrigo Lopez) 81, Steven Evans (Carlos Martinez) 89;
Misconduct Summary: SRFC – Ivan Mirković (caution) 16, Ivan Mirković (caution/ejection) 90; FF – Alfred Edmonds (caution) 33, Alfred Edmonds (caution/ejection) 41, Jesus Garcia (caution) 70.
Sacramento Republic FC – Dominik Jakubek; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly, Harrison Delbridge, Nemanja Vuković; Carlos Martinez, Ivan Mirković, Octavio Guzman (Steven Evans 77), Jack Avesyan (Rodrigo Lopez 45); Thomas Stewart, Justin Braun (Dakota Collins 84).
Fresno Fuego – Francisco Hernandez; Elliot Hord, Alfred Edmonds, Cody Ellison, Eddie Gonzalez (Gaston Cignetti 60); Anthony Salccicia (Jesus Garcia 45), Abraham Campos, Robert Garcia (Kurtis Bettencourt 58), Paul Islas, Jose Cuevas; Tyler Reinhart.