SACRAMENTO, Calif. (October 20, 2018) — Republic FC scored first but fell 2-1 to visiting Swope Park Rangers in the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the ULS Cup Playoffs.
Sacramento enjoyed a dream start thanks to Shannon Gomez and Villyan Bijev. In the 16th minute, Gomez charged up the left wing and beat his man to the ball at the touchline before whipping a last-ditch cross into the box. A poor clearance from the Swope Park defense gave Bijev a chance to take the ball down and rip a right-footed shot past Rangers keeper Eric Dick and into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
The visitors would equalize off of a corner kick in the 27th minute. Wan Kuzain pounced on a loose ball and found space inside the box. Gomez marked him, but Kuzain curled his shot just inside the near post to beat Josh Cohen and level the score.
Hadji Barry scored the go-ahead goal just a few minutes later after being left alone at the top of the box on a counter attack. Rassambek Akhmatov slid a ball to Barry’s feet from the wing as the striker sent his one-timed effort past a diving attempt from Cohen and make it 2-1 after 31 minutes.
Jure Matjasic had the best of what seemed like a multitude of chances for the home side in the second half. In the 50th minute, the Slovenian was able to cut back in on an attack from the left side and curled a right-footed shot past the Swope keeper. To his misfortune, the shot struck the near post and went out of play.
Despite enjoying a large portion of possession and chances in the second half, Republic FC could not find the equalizer. Swope Park will now advance to a Second-Round matchup with Phoenix Rising FC next week. Republic FC’s season ends for a second consecutive year with a loss to Swope Park Rangers.
Scoring Summary: SAC – Villyan Bijev 16; SPR – Wan Kuzain 27, Hadji Barry (Rassambek Akhmatov) 31.
Misconduct Summary: SAC – Jure Matjasic (caution) 38, Elliott Hord (caution) 68; SPR – Rassambek Akhmatov (caution) 58
Sacramento Republic FC – Josh Cohen, Shannon Gomez, Emrah Klimenta (Cole Seiler 80), Mitchell Taintor, Elliott Hord, Jeremy Hall, Jure Matjasic, Villyan Bijev, Hayden Partain (Christian Eissele 72), Keven Aleman (Luis Espino 80), Cameron Iwasa.
Subs Not Used: Rafael Diaz, Justin Schmidt, Roberto Hategan, Wilson Kneeshaw.
Stats: Shots: 13, Shots on Goal: 5, Saves: 3, Fouls: 11, Corner Kicks: 8, Offsides: 3.
Swope Park Rangers – Eric Dick, Colton Storm, Justin Bilyeu (Parker Maher 90), Graham Smith, Amer Didic, Wan Kuzain, Kharlton Belmar, Felipe Hernandez (Matthew Lewis 90+), Rassambek Akhmatov, Hadji Barry (Bryam Rebellon 82), Tyler Blackwood.
Subs Not Used: Darrin MacLeod, Sebastian Cruz, Matheus Silva, Wilson Harris.
Stats: Shots: 5, Shots on Goal: 5, Saves: 4, Fouls: 11, Corner Kicks: 2, Offsides: 0.
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