Sacramento Republic FC defeated USL PDL team Ventura County Fusion 2-1 in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play on Wednesday, May 14. The team will advance to the third round of play on May 28.
It was a relatively quiet first 30 minutes of action, with play picking up in the latter stages of the first half. Republic FC had several chances early on and dominated possession, but fell behind in the 36-minute when Agustin Cazarez of Fusion found Jordan Rideout in stride giving the Fusion a 1-0 lead. The forward shot the ball past Republic FC keeper Dominic Jakubek into the back of the net, and held Republic FC scoreless in the first half.
In the second half, key Republic FC substitutions brought new energy to the field. In the 59-minute, Republic FC capitalized on a free kick from Rodrigo Lopez who crossed the ball to the head of Harrison Delbridge. The defender broke through to score his first goal with the club, as he sent a redirected header into the left corner of the goal past a diving save attempt from Fusion keeper Trey Mitchell.
Lightning struck again for Republic FC in the 78-minute. Initially, a shot from defender Emrah Kliementa was blocked by Fusion defense, followed by a left-foot bullet from match captain Chad Bartlomé, which was also blocked. However, Dakota Collins followed up the rebound and finished into the back of the net for a 2-1 Republic FC lead. Collins celebrated his second tally of the season, putting him into a five-way tie for the team lead in goals.
The game got physical in the final minutes, culminating in a violent conduct red card scenario for Fusion defender Javan Torre in the 88-minute, leaving the Fusion to play with 10 players until the final whistle.
Missing from tonight’s match was Republic FC Head Coach Preki, who is serving a two-match U.S. Open Cup suspension. Head Assistant Coach Rod Underwood instead led the match.
Both teams had chances with Republic FC outshooting the Fusion 15-8 and winning the corner kick battle 7-1. Republic FC moves forward in U.S. Open Cup play with their 2-1 victory over the Fusion to the third round of the tournament.
The U.S. Open Cup is a national tournament that includes amateur, semi-pro and professional teams from all leagues in the United States, including MLS, NASL and USL PRO. It is the oldest cup competition in the United States and one of the oldest in the world.
Republic FC will take on Fresno Fuego FC, a USL PDL team, in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup on May 28. Fuego FC celebrated their own U.S. Open Cup match 2-0 victory over the Orange County Blues FC tonight. The time and site of the Republic FC match against Fresno is TBD.
Later this week, Republic FC will play a regular season match versus LA Galaxy II at Hughes Stadium on Saturday, May 17. The team is focused on this most immediate match before it resumes its U.S. Open Cup play in two weeks.
“We showed a lot of character in the end,” added Dakota Collins, who score the game winning goal. “It was tough game, and it was basically a fight. We had a lot of ball and we had a lot possession, but sometimes goals are hard to come by and tonight was one of those nights. We’re looking towards Saturday, taking it one game at a time.”
“It was great, we got the result after being down 1-0 and we were able to bounce back and the result for our fans,” said Max Alaverez. “Coach pumped us up, we struggle sometimes with opportunities. Rod gave us a pretty good half time speech and that woke us up.”
Scoring Summary: VFC – Jordan Rideout (Agustin Cazarez) 36; SRFC – Harrison Delbridge (Rodrigo Lopez) 59; Dakota Collins 78
Misconduct Summary: SRFC – Mickey Daly (caution) 76; VFC – Jordan Vale (caution) 77; SRFC – Ivan Mirković (caution) 83; VFC – Javan Torre (caution) 88; VFC – Javan Torre (ejection) 88
Ventura County Fusion – Trey Mitchell, Javan Torre, Evan Keny-Guyer, Ruben Rodriguez (Sterling Hancock 70), Kip Colvey, Agustin Cazarez, Matt LaGrassa, James Kiffe, Kennedy Chango (Jordan Vale 56), Laurie Bell (John Lopez 68), Jordan Rideout
Sacramento Republic FC – Dominic Jakubek, Jack Avesyan (Nemanja Vuković 55), Mickey Daly, Harrison Delbridge, Emrah Klimenta, Octavio Guzman, Ivan Mirković, Max Alvarez, Gilberto (Rodrigo Lopez 45), Chad Bartlomé (Thomas Stewart 90+), Dakota Collins