Real Monarchs SLC came out firing on all cylinders to start the game, putting constant pressure on Sacramento Republic FC’s backline and trying to get the early goal. Despite a couple of chances and four corners in the first 15 minutes, Republic FC was able to weather the early storm and stay strong defensively.
In the 27th minute, Republic FC had their best chance of the half after forward Trevin Caesar was brought down mere inches outside of the box on the right side. Midfielder Danny Barrera stepped up to take the free kick and drove a low shot toward the back post, but a Monarchs’ defender was able to stick his leg out just enough to deflect the ball. The deflection however went right back to Barrera who attempted a one-touch strike on the rebound, but his attempt ended up far wide left of the post.
The Monarchs would break the tie in the 38th minute. Midfielder Sebastian Velasquez played the ball wide to defender Max Lachowecki who was making an overlapping run on the left side. Lachowecki sent a cross into the box that found Andrew Brody on the right side of the box. Brody chested the ball down before sending a strike on goal, that goalkeeper Evan Newton was able to deflect, but the ball hit right off the face of defender Julius James and fell perfectly at the feet of Daniel Haber who was following the play. Haber then blasted the ball into the roof of the net from about two yards away from goal, putting Real Monarchs ahead 1-0 going into the half.
Republic FC came out the stronger team to start the second half, putting pressure on the Monarch’s backline as they searched for an equalizer. Republic FC would see their best chance of the half in the 49th minute. Midfielder Agustin Cazarez played a long ball from the middle of the field to the right side where substitute midfielder Elliott Hord was making a run. Hord took the ball almost to the endline before sending a grounded cross toward the near post where forward Tyler Blackwood was making a run. Blackwood’s shot was blocked by a sliding defender, but fell right to the feet of defender James Kiffe who was following the play. Kiffe took a touch before taking a right-footed shot, but it went right to goalkeeper Connor Sparrow for the save.
The Monarchs would double their lead in the 58th minute. After a Republic FC corner, the ball was headed back and forth in Republic FC’s attacking half. The Monarchs’ Kyle Curringa took the final header, that went all the way to the midfield where Chandler Hoffman flicked it on, putting Velasquez in a foot race with Republic FC’s defense. Velasquez won the race, going one-on-one with Newton and sliding a grounded shot past the keeper and into the far side of the goal, putting Real Monarchs up 2-0.
Cazarez had the best look for Republic FC to answer back with his shot in the 90th minute. After a run by Blackwood was knocked out of bounds, Barrera sent a short corner to Cazarez who was wide open at the top right corner of the box, but the midfielder sent his strong shot just wide left and high of the goal.
Republic FC will return home on Wednesday, May 17, when they enter the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in a Second Round match against FC Anahuac. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park. Tickets are still available at Ticketmaster.com.
Scoring Summary: SLC – Daniel Haber 38, Sebastian Velasquez (Chandler Hoffman) 58.
Misconduct Summary: SLC – James Moberg (caution) 26, Daniel Haber (caution) 72, Charlie Adams (caution) 72, Connor Sparrow (caution) 90; SAC – Trevin Caesar (caution) 29, James Kiffe (caution) 90.
Sacramento Republic FC – Evan Newton; Emrah Klimenta, Chris Christian, Julius James, James Kiffe; Jeremy Hall, Danny Barrera, Agustin Cazarez, Tyler Blackwood; Trevin Caesar (Elliott Hord 46), Sammy Ochoa.
Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek; Daniel Trickett-Smith, Wilson Kneeshaw, Harry Williams, Gabe Gissie, Christian Chaney.
Stats: Shots: 7, Shots on Goal: 2, Saves: 2, Fouls: 13, Corner Kicks: 3, Offside: 4.
Real Monarchs SLC – Connor Sparrow; James Moberg, Michael Gallagher, Kyle Curinga, Max Lachowecki; Sebastian Velasquez (Emmanuel Ocran 82), Charlie Adams, Nick Besler, Andrew Brody, Daniel Haber (Karsten Hanlin 88); Chandler Hoffman (Jonel Desire 77).
Subs Not Used: Andrew Putna; Skyler Milne, Taylor Peay, Riggs Lennon.
Stats: Shots: 10, Shots on Goal: 5, Saves: 2, Fouls: 15, Corner Kicks: 7, Offside: 2.