Sacramento Republic FC picked up right where they left off coming out strong against LA Galaxy II. In just the 10th minute, Republic FC would earn their first chance in the form of a penalty. Defender James Kiffe drove past his mark before taking the ball all the way down the left side to the touchline and sending a left-footed cross toward the middle. Kiffe’s cross did not find a Republic FC player, but instead found the hand of a Los Dos defender, earning Republic FC an early penalty. Midfielder Jeremy Hall stepped up to take the penalty, hitting a low driven shot toward the right side of the goal. Los Dos keeper Eric López guessed right and was able to get his hand on the ball, but Hall hit the shot too hard, powering the ball past López and into the net, putting Republic FC ahead 1-0 early.
Republic FC continued to press, doubling their lead just three minutes later. Midfielder Agustin Cazarez found space on the left side of the field before sending a looping cross toward a streaking Tyler Blackwood in the middle of the box. The cross bent around the Los Dos defense allowing Blackwood to just stick his foot out and poke the ball into the right side of the net to put Republic FC ahead 2-0.
Defender Elliott Hord helped set up Republic FC’s third goal of the night in just the 18th minute. Hord drove past the defense on the right side before sending a ball into the box. Forward Wilson Kneeshaw was able to run onto the ball, sending a one-touch backheel pass to Trevin Caesar, who was trailing the play. Caesar one-touched his left-footed shot toward the near post past a diving López and into the back of the net to give Republic FC the 3-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff Los Dos looked to have struck back. A long ball seemed to have played Raul Mendiola into a one-on-one situation with Evan Newton. The Republic FC keeper beat Mendiola to the ball, but was only able to knock the ball. Newton was quick to his feet and was able to deflect the ball off Tyler Turner who was following the play. The deflection fell to Adonis Amaya whose shot was blocked by Chris Christian, but the ball found the feet of Justin Dhillon. The forward’s shot was deemed to have touched the hand of Christian giving Los Dos a penalty. Amaya stepped up to take the penalty, driving a low left-footed shot just to the left of Newton, but the keeper got down quick to make what proved to be a huge save in the match keeping the score 3-0, which would hold going into the half.
Despite Republic FC coming out strong again in the second half, it was Los Dos who were able to get a goal back in the 54th minute. After a long clearance was batted around in the middle of the field, Amaya was able to recover the ball and play Dhillon free and into a one-on-one scenario with Newton. Dhillon opted to keep his shot low, beating the on-rushing Newton and into the back of the net, making the score 3-1.
In the 70th minute, Jonathan Hernandez found space on the right side near the center circle before sending a long ball forward ahead of the defense. Hord was unable to clear the ball away and substitute forward Adrián Vera ran onto the ball into the box, flicking it up and over Newton and into the goal making the score 3-2.
Republic FC looked as though they might put the game away in the 89th minute after substitute forward Gabe Gissie shook off a defender to put himself in a one-on-one situation with López. Gissie unleashed a rocket shot that beat the keeper, but defender Jean Engola had recovered to cover the back post and was able to slide and deflect the ball away.
Republic FC would finish out the match and move into sole possession of third place in the USL standings. Republic FC will remain in Southern California as they take on LA Galaxy (MLS) in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wed. Jun. 28. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at the StubHub Center Track Stadium.
Scoring Summary: SAC – Jeremy Hall (penalty) 11, Tyler Blackwood (Agustin Cazarez) 14, Trevin Caesar (Wilson Kneeshaw) 18; LA – Justin Dhillon (Adomis Amaya) 54, Adrián Vera 70.
Misconduct Summary: SAC – Trevin Caesar (caution) 45, Daniel Trickett-Smith (caution) 65; LA – Adrián Vera (caution) 77, Alejandro Covarrubias (caution) 79.
Sacramento Republic FC – Evan Newton; Elliott Hord, Chris Christian, Emrah Klimenta, James Kiffe, Agustin Cazarez, Jeremy Hall, Danny Barrera (Daniel Trickett-Smith 63), Tyler Blackwood; Trevin Caesar (Gabe Gissie 46), Wilson Kneeshaw (Christian Chaney 46).
Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Peter McGlynn, Harry Williams, Sammy Ochoa.
Stats: Shots: 17, Shots on Goal: 8, Saves: 2, Fouls: 5, Corner Kicks: 7, Offside: 4.
LA Galaxy II – Eric López; Tyler Turner, Josh Turnley, Robert Castellanos, Jean Engola; Alejandro Covarrubias, Jonathan Hernandez, Andre Ulrich Zanga, Raul Mendiola (Ryo Fujii 69); Adonis Amaya (Adrián Vera 69), Justin Dhillon.
Subs Not Used: Bennett Sneddon.
Stats: Shots: 11, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 4, Fouls: 9, Corner Kicks: 1, Offside: 4.