James Kiffe, who made his 100th all-competitions appearance for Sacramento Republic FC in the match, and Tyler Blackwood, looked very dangerous on the left wing early and often. Kiffe hooked in numerous crosses for Blackwood in the box, including two corner kicks that made Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC nervously clear the ball away. Blackwood was rewarded for his strong play with an assist, when he slid a cross into the box in the 37th minute for Agustin Cazarez. The midfielder rifled a one-time left-footer through traffic and past Switchbacks keeper Moise Poutay for the first goal of the match.
The Switchbacks wasted no time equalizing, scoring in the 38th minute. Midfielder Masta Kacher received the ball in the middle of the pitch before sending it through to Luke Vercollone who had got in behind the defense. Vercollone’s shot beat Evan Newton knotting the score at 1-1.
Republic FC would reclaim the lead just before halftime after a goal kick by Poutay went right to Trevin Caesar who quickly attacked the goal. Caesar forced Poutay to come off his line before knocking a back-heel ball back to the center for Matt Wiesenfarth. The forward sent the ball past two defenders and into the open net putting Republic FC ahead 2-1 going into the half. The goal was Wiesenfarth’s first as a professional.
Blackwood continued to be a menace in the second half, causing problems for the right side of the Switchbacks defense. He nearly bagged a goal in the 58th minute on a cross from Caesar. Blackwood sent a powerful header towards the near post as it went just wide and out of play. Cazarez had a strong second half as well as he nearly scored again the 68th minute. From 30 yards out, Cazarez sent a left-footed shot screaming towards the far post that whistled just wide.
The Switchbacks would find their second equalizer of the match in stoppage time of the second half. Kacher hooked a corner kick into the box at the far post where Pascal Eboussi leapt to redirect the header back on goal. The shot took a deflection and went up and over Newton and into the back of the net to tie the score at 2-2. The match would end soon after in a draw.
“I expect better,” said Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “We controlled the game for long spells, but we didn’t put the ball in the net with the chances we had. We absolutely deserved to win the game in terms of chances.”
Scoring Summary: SRFC – Agustin Cazarez (Tyler Blackwood) 37, Matt Wiesenfarth (Trevin Caesar) 45; COS – Luke Vercollone (Masta Kacher) 38, Pascal Eboussi (Masta Kacher) 90
Misconduct Summary: none.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Moise Pouaty, Conner Bevans (Pascal Eboussi 87), Sean McFarlane, Josh Phillips, Josh Suggs, Taesong Kim (Aaron King 70), Rony Argueta, Luke Vercollone, Shane Malcolm (Tobenna Uzo 64), Masta Kacher, Kevaughn Frater
Subs Not Used: Dan Jackson, Damen Marcu.
Stats: Shots: 12, Shots on Goal: 7, Saves: 6, Fouls: 7, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 0.
Sacramento Republic FC – Evan Newton, Peter McGlynn, Chris Christian, Carlos Rodriguez (Gabe Gissie 77), James Kiffe, Agustin Cazarez, Jeremy Hall, Hayden Partain, Tyler Blackwood, Matt Wiesenfarth (Sammy Ochoa 80), Trevin Caesar (Villyan Bijev 70).
Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Wilson Kneeshaw, Harry Williams, Sammy Ochoa, Elliott Hord.
Stats: Shots: 18, Shots on Goal: 8, Saves: 5, Fouls: 12, Corner Kicks: 8, Offside: 3.