Republic FC took command of the match early on and opened the scoring in the 12th minute of play. Following a cross in from the right flank, Fucito took advantage of a slight mishandle by Chivas USA Reserves goalkeeper Tim Melia for a simple left-footed shot into the open net.
Republic FC continued its strong play after the goal and put together several promising combination plays. However, it would be Chivas USA Reserves scoring at the other end. In the 24th minute, regular Chivas USA first-teamer and English Premier League veteran Luke Moore headed home Leandro Barrera’s well-timed ball over the top of the defense.
Republic FC reacted splendidly to the setback, once again grabbing the lead a mere minute later, as Fucito took the ball to the end line on the left and centered it to Braun whose simple tap-in from close range gave the Republic FC a 2-1 lead.
Fucito and Braun continued to exhibit impressive chemistry and nearly combined for another tally just after the half-hour mark. This time it was Braun who beat a defender on the left and sent a cross toward the center of the box, where a sliding Fucito was able to get a toe on the ball, only to see it sail just over the crossbar.
Fucito nearly scored again in the 58th minute, when he found himself with space in the penalty area and made full contact with a beautifully timed cross from the left by defender Harrison Delbridge. Chivas USA goalkeeper Melia made an excellent reaction save to keep the score 2-1.
Republic FC was very nearly punished for the missed opportunities in the 74th minute when Chivas USA’s Donald Toia out-jumped onrushing goalkeeper Jake Gleeson at the edge of the box and headed the ball toward the open net. Defender Emrah Klimenta cleared the shot off the line.
Republic FC denied its opponents any dangerous looks on goal in the closing stages and went on to seal the deal in stoppage time. Thomas Stewart received a long pass from defender Jack Avesyan that he chipped over Melia and under the crossbar for a stunning finish.
“I thought we started pretty sloppy in the first ten to 15 minutes, until we found a rhythm and settled into the game,” said Republic FC Head Coach Preki. “After that, I thought we dominated and could have scored more than three goals. We created many, many chances, but their keeper played well and made three or four top-class saves.
“I’m proud of my guys. They worked really hard and worked for each other, and they were very disciplined for the most part,” continued Preki. “When you do that, good things will happen.”
Republic FC will return to action on April 12, as they continue their Southern California road trip with a match against Orange County Blues FC at Anteater Stadium on the campus of the University of California Irvine. The match will begin at 7 p.m. PT and will be streamed live on www.SacRepublicFC.com.
Scoring Summary: SRFC - Mike Fucito 12, Justin Braun (Mike Fucito) 25, Tommy Stewart (Jack Avesyan) 90+2; CHVR – Luke Moore 24
Misconduct Summary: none.
Chivas USA Reserves – Melia; Hernandez, Nwiloh, Toia, Ribeiro; Delgado, Tyrpak (Clavert 45), Bautista, Barrera; Fondy, Moore (Castro 45)
Sacramento Republic FC – Jake Gleeson, Nemanja Vuković, Mickey Daly, Harrison Delbridge, Emrah Klimenta, Ivan Mirković, Octavio Guzman (Chad Bond 45), Max Alvarez (Jack Avesyan 58), Mike Fucito (Thomas Stewart 70), Rodrigo Lopez, Justin Braun (Dakota Collins 78).