Sacramento Republic cruise to 2-0 victory over Monterey Bay, advance to U.S. Open Cup Round of 16

May 7, 2024, 10:23 PM

Nate Littlefield/Sactown Sports...

Nate Littlefield/Sactown Sports

It was the start of a new, yet familiar, adventure for the Sacramento Republic Tuesday evening, downing their rivals to advance to U.S. Open Cup Round of 16.

Sacramento Republic F.C. dominated in their Round of 32 match Tuesday, winning 2-0 against Monterey Bay F.C. The Quails scored two goals in the first half and never looked back, controlling the pace of play throughout to remain unbeaten on the year.

The match started out slow, with both sides figuring  each other out. Sacramento seemed to want it more however, eventually dictating the possession on both ends of the pitch. SRFC was aggressive on defense, using dispossessions to trigger counterattacks into the final third.

That led to their first goal of the night, with the help of fortunate bounce.

Left winger Damiá Viader race with the ball up the flank, keeping his defender on a string momentarily. The Spaniard then rifled a strike with his left boot, ricocheting off Monterey Bay’s Kai Greene past the goalkeeper’s grasp.

1-0 to The Republic off an own goal in the 27th minute.

With blood in the air, the Quails maintained their aggressiveness and were rewarded with another goal five minutes later.

This time striker Kieran Phillips got loose, racing past his defender to meet a through ball in the 18-yard-box. The Englishman saw where the keeper was at and chipped it past him for the easy finish.

2-0 Sacramento in a matter of minutes.

Phillips, 24, recently joined the club from Huddersfield Town, having an instant impact stateside. The clinical finishing is something that has been lacking for The Republic in recent years, with the squad elated to have him.

“I think you see a level of movement, you see a level of quality that we haven’t seen,” coach Mark briggs said about Phillips post match. “You can tell that he’s played at a high level. And we’ve just got to keep that quality and keep his confidence and utilize his momentum while we have him and make the most out of it because he certainly helps us.”

Sacramento Republic would park the bus in the second half, playing solid defense to frustrate the opposition. That started with the play of GK Danny Vitiello, controlling his box like he was directing traffic. Vitiello had four saves on the night, including one at the end of each half to keep Monterey Bay off their tails.

Dominating the match, the score ended 2-0 after 90 minutes, sending the Heart Health Park crowd home happy.

The Sacramento Republic will host MLS side San Jose Earthquakes in the Round of 16 later this month. But before we get there, Sacramento have a heavy USL Championship schedule to continue. Despite remaining unbeaten this year, Briggs sees room for improve for his squad, excited by prospects of reaching their full potential.

“This year we’ve probably played 45 minutes, 60 minutes, where I’ve been happy, and I felt like the team clicked and we’ve done the things that we’re supposed to do. So, the really pleasing thing for me at the moment is we’re the only undefeated team in the West, we’re in first place and we’re nowhere near where we should be,” he stated. “We’re nowhere near the quality we have and the speed of play and everything else. So that should give the guys confidence because we’re getting points and we’re doing well. But we know that we’re nowhere near our rhythm and what we can achieve.”

Upcoming Sacramento Republic FC Schedule

  • Saturday, May 11th – at Rhode Island – 4:30 PM PST
  • May 21st or 22nd – vs. San Jose Earthquakes – TBD
  • Saturday, May 25th – vs. Birmingham Legion F.C. – 7:00 PM PST
  • Saturday, June 1st – vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies – 7:00 PM PST
  • Saturday, June 8th – at Monterey Bay F.C. – 7:30 PM PST

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