After an absolute barrage of corner kicks, Sacramento Republic FC broke through in the 29th minute of the match when Danny Barrera and Trevin Caesar linked up for a brilliant goal. Defender James Kiffe sent a strong left-footed cross to the far post where Barrera had made his run. Republic FC’s captain was able to lay the ball off to Caesar with a perfect drop header. Caesar wasted no time in swinging his right foot directly through the ball for a blistering side-volley that blasted into the back of the net.
Real Salt Lake would find an equalizer shortly after in the 35th minute. After a turnover in the midfield by Harry Williams, RSL midfielder Omar Holness scooped up the loose ball and sent a through ball in the path of Ricardo Velazco. The RSL midfielder controlled the ball before sending a shot past a diving Evan Newton and into the back of the net evening the score 1-1.
Republic FC would counter back and take a resounding 3-1 lead into halftime with two goals in the final 3 minutes of the first half. Barrera was able to send a cross into the box for midfielder Agustin Cazarez, who did not waste his chance as he put the home side ahead with his strike in the 43rd minute. Jeremy Hall added the third in the form of a penalty kick in the 45th minute. Hall slotted a perfectly placed right-footed shot into the left corner of the net past a diving attempt from RSL keeper Lalo Fernandez.
RSL put the pressure on in the second half of play but Republic FC was ready for it. Kiffe was forced to make a last-second clearance in the 60th minute after a dangerous pass gave Velazco a chance on goal. Kiffe came in strong and cleared the ball out of play, much to the delight of Newton.
Barrera added an emphatic goal to his stellar performance in the match when he got on the end of an inch-perfect cross from Kiffe. The defender is known for his left-footed crosses from the wing and he did not disappoint with his effort in the 71st minute. The cross sailed through the entire RSL defense before curling right to the forehead of Barrera who snapped a redirected header past Fernandez and into the back of the net for the convincing 4-1 score line. Republic FC was able to protect the lead for the final 20 minutes as the final whistle blew and they advanced to the next round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
“It was an electric atmosphere tonight and it was important for the players to respond to that and we did,“ said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “I was delighted with the performance. We were dangerous down to every man.“
The win marks the first victory for Republic FC in a competitive match over an MLS club and the first time the club has advanced to the Fifth Round of the U.S. Open Cup.
Scoring Summary: SRFC – Trevin Caesar (Danny Barrera) 29, Agustin Cazarez (Danny Barrera) 43, Jeremy Hall (penalty) 45, Danny Barrera (James Kiffe) 71; RSL – Ricardo Velazco (Omar Holness) 35
Misconduct Summary: SRFC – Harry Williams (caution) 20, Danny Barrera (caution) 70
Real Salt Lake – Lalo Fernandez; Jordan Allen (Brooks Lennon 46), Reagan Dunk (Andrew Brody 82), Max Lachowecki, Justin Schmidt; Nick Besler, Jose Hernandez (Daniel Haber 67), Omar Holness, James Moberg, Ricardo Velazco; Sebastian Saucedo.
Subs Not Used: Connor Sparrow; Luke Mulholland, Kyle Curinga, Michael Gallagher.
Stats: Shots: 11, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 2, Fouls: 11, Corner Kicks: 6, Offside: 2.
Sacramento Republic FC – Evan Newton; Elliott Hord, Emrah Klimenta, Chris Christian, James Kiffe; Jeremy Hall, Danny Barrera, Agustin Cazarez, Tyler Blackwood (Christian Chaney 87); Trevin Caesar (Wilson Kneeshaw 67), Harry Williams (Gabe Gissie 85).
Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek; Peter McGlynn, Sammy Ochoa, Lamin Suma.
Stats: Shots: 14, Shots on Goal: 7, Saves: 3, Fouls: 11, Corner Kicks: 8, Offside: 5.