Republic FC began the game on the front foot, using pace and quick movements to open up space and pressure the LA Galaxy’s backline. Republic FC’s early pressure almost paid off in the 11th minute on a corner kick. Midfielder Danny Barrera took the corner, finding an unmarked Agustin Cazarez near the top left corner of the box. Cazarez chested the ball down before firing a left-footed shot on goal, but his shot went just over the bar.
The Galaxy had their best chance of the first half in the 13th minute. Midfielder Raul Mendiola was able to get past his mark on the right side before sending a ball into the middle. Mendiola’s cross found forward Jack McInerney right in front of goal, but his show was blocked, but only as far as Ariel Lassiter who was following the play. The young midfielder was able to strike a second shot toward goal, but his shot rolled just wide right of the goal.
Republic FC had a pair of strong opportunities in the 27th and 41st minutes. In the 17th minute, forward Wilson Kneeshaw fought hard in the right corner to find an opening before escaping pressure and sending a ball into the middle. Barrera was able to redirect the cross with an acrobatic pass back to Trevin Caesar in the middle of the box. The forward attempted to one-time the ball on goal, but his shot went just over the bar. It was Caesar again in the 41st minute, this time he was played into a one-on-one situation after a hustle play by defender Elliott Hord. Caesar struck the ball well and it looked destined for the bottom right corner of the goal, but the ball was deflected out of play keeping the match scoreless going into the half.
LA Galaxy would break the deadlock in the 47th minute. Forward Jack McInerney was judged to have been tripped up about 25 yards from goal just to the right of the target. Lassiter stepped up to take the ensuing free kick, sending a left-footed strike on goal that found the upper right corner of the goal, just past the outstretched hands of a diving Evan Newton.
The Galaxy would waste no time adding to their lead, scoring again in the 49th minute. After a giveaway in Republic FC’s attacking half, midfielder Bradford Jamieson recovered the ball and drove it from nearly midfield to the box. Jamieson then stepped over the ball a few times before sending a right-footed strike on goal, that deflected off the sliding foot of a Republic FC defender, taking an awkward bounce and trickling into the back of the goal to put Galaxy up 2-0.
Republic FC would fight back valiantly, coming up just short on a few different chances. In the 64th minute, a long ball from Cazarez went untouched as it floated through the middle of the field, until midfielder Tyler Blackwood was able to run onto the ball on the left side. Blackwood took the ball to the far left side of the box before cutting it back and centering the ball to Caesar who had found space in the middle of the box. Caesar shot went just over the bar, however, preserving the 2-0 lead.
In the 74th minute, it looked as though Republic FC had broken through after a long pass down the right side by defender Emrah Klimenta sprung Kneeshaw forward. The forward touched the ball down before running it down almost to the touchline, before sending it back the middle and to Blackwood who fired on goal, but his shot was blocked and cleared from danger.
“I am extremely proud of the run that we have had in the Cup,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “I was proud of the performance. It was going to be a big ask for us against a good side, but we certainly deserved to go into the half at 0-0, if not ahead. I felt we had the best chances in the match and we failed to work the goalkeeper, which is unlike us of late. I am massively proud of how we did in the Cup, and we should take a lot of pride in that.”
Despite the pressure from Republic FC, the USL side was unable to break through, ending the match and Republic FC’s U.S. Open Cup run. Republic FC will have to forget the loss quickly, as they host San Antonio FC on Saturday, Jul. 1. Kickoff is 8 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park. Tickets are still available at Ticketmaster.com.
Scoring Summary: LA – Ariel Lassiter 47, Bradford Jaimeson IV (Hugo Arellano) 49.
Misconduct Summary: LA – Nathan Smith (caution) 45; SAC – Chris Christian (caution) 45, James Kiffe (caution) 67.
Sacramento Republic FC – Evan Newton; Elliott Hord, Chris Christian, Emrah Klimenta, James Kiffe, Agustin Cazarez, Jeremy Hall, Danny Barrera, Tyler Blackwood (Sammy Ochoa 84), Trevin Caesar (Harry Williams 73), Wilson Kneeshaw (Christian Chaney 84).
Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Carlos Rodriguez, Gabe Gissie, Lamin Suma.
Stats: Shots: 15, Shots on Goal: 2, Saves: 3, Fouls: 8, Corner Kicks: 3, Offside: 1.
LA Galaxy – Jon Kempin; Dave Romney (Jelle Van Damme 46), Josh Turnley, Nathan Smith, Hugo Arellano; Rafael Garcia (Jaime Villarreal 58), João Pedro (Jose Villarreal 84), Ariel Lassiter, Raul Mendiola, Bradford Jaimeson; Jack McInerney.
Subs Not Used: Clémont Diop; Emmanuel Boateng, Jack McBean, 63.
Stats: Shots: 15, Shots on Goal: 5, Saves: 2, Fouls: 9, Corner Kicks: 4, Offside: 2.