Swope Park Rangers came out quickly, jumping on the score sheet in just the 4th minute. After a turnover in the midfield the Rangers forward Hassan Saad received a pass from midfielder Christian Duke. Saad rolled over the ball with his right foot to get past the initial defender before blasting a right-footed shot from just outside the box that went past Evan Newton for the opening goal.
Republic FC answered in the 36th minute after Trevin Caesar earned a free kick from 20 yards out. Emrah Klimenta took the free kick, sending the ball up and over the wall before it struck the crossbar and bounced straight down on the goal line. Wilson Kneeshaw followed the rebound perfectly and smashed home the equalizer into the open net, making it 1-1 which it would stay until halftime.
The Rangers would jump back ahead in the 68th minute on a throw in to the chest of Duke who was inside the box. The Rangers’ captain controlled the ball and quickly turned to cross the ball. Forward Kharlton Belmar stepped in front of the defense to redirect the cross past Newton and into the back of the net for the go-ahead goal.
Republic FC began a flurry of attacks in the last 20 minutes as they tried to rescue the point for a draw. Forward Tyler Blackwood was able to do just that in the 88th minute as he unleashed a wicked side volley to level the match at 2-2. Defender Elliott Hord attacked the right side of the defense before finding Blackwood in the box with a cross. Blackwood rocketed the volley past a diving Rangers’ keeper Adrián Zendejas for the equalizer.
“We were up against it; in a match against a top team,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “Our subs came in and did very well. [Blackwood’s goal] was huge and that is why Tyler is out there. All in all, I am very happy with the point.”
Republic FC will hit the road as they travel to Phoenix to take on Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday, Aug. 26. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex. The match will be broadcast on CW31 and streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.
Scoring Summary: SPR – Hassan Saad (Christian Duke) 4, Kharlton Belmar (Christian Duke) 68; SRFC – Wilson Kneeshaw 36, Tyler Blackwood (Elliott Hord) 88
Misconduct Summary: SRFC - James Kiffe (caution) 34; SPR – Lebo Moloto (caution) 45
Swope Park Rangers – Adrián Zendejas, Colton Storm, Oumar Ballo, Amer Didic, Tyler Pasher, Lebo Moloto (Felipe Hernandez 76), Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal, Christian Duke, Hassan Saad, Kharlton Belmar (Parker Maher 79), Nansel Selbol (Mark Anthony González 76).
Subs Not Used: Darrin Mcleod, Cameron Iwasa, Dakota Barnathan, Liam Doyle.
Stats: Shots: 7, Shots on Goal: 4, Saves: 0, Fouls: 12, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 1.
Sacramento Republic FC – Evan Newton, Elliott Hord, Carlos Rodriguez, Emrah Klimenta, James Kiffe, Agustin Cazarez, Peter McGlynn (Gabe Gissie 68), Hayden Partain, Tyler Blackwood, Wilson Kneeshaw (Harry Williams 77), Trevin Caesar (Matt Wiesenfarth 77).
Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Sammy Ochoa, Roberto Hategan, Christian Chaney.
Stats: Shots: 11, Shots on Goal: 2, Saves: 2, Fouls: 7, Corner Kicks: 3, Offside: 1.