SACRAMENTO, Calif. (June 6, 2018) — Sacramento Republic FC advanced to the Round of 16 of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC in extra time on Wednesday night. The win marks the second consecutive year the club has knocked out an MLS opponent to progress to the latter stages of the tournament
Republic FC enjoyed the majority of the chances in the first half, but both sides went into halftime scoreless. Villyan Bijev, Wilson Kneeshaw and Adam Moffat all had strong chances to score, with all three of them just missing the frame on separate occasions.
Sacramento broke the deadlock in the 60th minute after Bijev intercepted a ball in midfield. The former Liverpool player laid the ball off to Moffat who found Elliott Hord making a run into the box. Hord, who played his first full 90 minutes this year following off-season surgery, sent a low ball across goal to an on-rushing Cameron Iwasa who simply had to redirect the ball towards goal for the opener.
Moffat nearly doubled the lead a few minutes later if not for an acrobatic save from the visiting goalkeeper. Iwasa ran onto a long through ball in the air and muscled off a defender before beating an oncoming dive from Bryan Meredith. Iwasa’s touch took him away from goal and was forced to send a pass back to Moffat near the edge of the box. With the keeper out of position, Moffat hit a laser on frame, but Meredith was able to recover and make the difficult block on the shot.
Meredith proved to be Seattle’s best player on the pitch, making saves on Iwasa, Moffat, Bijev and Justin Schmidt to keep his side in the match.
The visiting keeper’s efforts ultimately paid off as Sounders FC snatched an equalizer in the final moments of the match. Second-half substitute Harry Shipp fired a shot toward goal that took a deflection to beat Josh Cohen who was diving the opposite way. The goal forced the match into two fifteen-minute halves of extra time.
Sacramento would not be denied the victory, however, scoring the winner with five minutes left to play. Bijev, who had been a threat all night, attacked the left wing before laying off a pass for Iwasa who fired a hard shot on goal. Meredith made the initial save, but let up a rebound that fell onto Jure Matjasic’s path. The second-half substitute tapped in his chance past keeper to send Republic FC on to the Round of 16 of the Open Cup for a second consecutive year.
Republic FC is back in USL action on Saturday, June 9, against Phoenix Rising FC. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. at Papa Murphy's Park and tickets are available via Ticketmaster.com.
Scoring Summary: SAC – Cameron Iwasa (Elliott Hord) 60, Jure Matjasic 115; SEA – Harry Shipp 90
Misconduct Summary: SEA – Felix Chenkam (caution) 10, Alexander Roldan (caution) 61, Rodrigue Ele (caution) 82, David Olson (caution) 110; SRFC – Villyan Bijev (caution) 84, Jeremy Halll (caution) 85
Sacramento Republic FC – Josh Cohen, Shannon Gomez, Mitchell Taintor, Carlos Rodriguez, Justin Schmidt, Elliott Hord (Jure Matjasic 76), Adam Moffat (Jaime Villarreal 94), Jeremy Hall, Wilson Kneeshaw (Luis Espino 108), Villyan Bijev, Cameron Iwasa.
Subs Not Used: Rafael Diaz, Christian Eissele, Cole Seiler, Josh Turnley.
Seattle Sounders FC – Bryan Meredith, Rodrigue Ele, Nick Hinds (David Olson 81), Tony Alfaro, Waylon Francis, Jordy Delem, Lamar Neagle (Alexander Roldan 41), Henry Wingo, Ray Saari, Shandon Hopeau (Harry Shipp 76), Felix Chenkam.
Subs Not Used: Calle Brown, Kelvin Leerdam, Nouhou, Marlon Vargas.
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