Sacramento Republic FC mount massive comeback in 5-4 thriller at home

Apr 5, 2023, 11:13 PM | Updated: 11:16 pm

Sacramento Republic FC...

Sacramento Republic FC

Sacramento Republic FC won their first match of the 2023 U.S. Open Cup in a way only The Indomitable Club could, defeating Crossfire Redmond, 5-4, in extra time. With the win, Sacramento advances to the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

The Republic were a shell of themselves through 80 minutes Wednesday night, allowing the visitors to get 2-0 lead on them. Redmond’s Richard Aman and River Stewart scored the opening goals within 20 minutes, taking advantage of mental lapses by the Republic to put the hosts on their heels.

It wasn’t until the 80th minute that the script flipped.

Down late, defender Jack Gurr swung a ball into the box. After taking a few deflections it fell to midfield Zeiko Lewis, slotting it home from close range. 2-1 and the Republic are back in the match.

Five minutes later, Sacramento found their equalizer. Hitting Crossfire on the counterattack, the ball leaks out on the left side of the pitch before defender Aldair Sanchez puts a wonderful cross into the box. Forward Russell Cicerone met the cross with a thunderous boot, putting it home on the volley.

2-2 and Heart Health Park is in a frenzy.

After a few more minutes of action, the whistle sounds and we’re headed to extra time.

The goals continued for the next 30 minutes, with Crossfire taking the lead in a matter minutes. Giving them a free-kick from about 30 yards out, midfielder Munier Hussen steps up and curls a shot right around goalie Carlos Saldaña to put the visitors back on top in the 92nd minute.

Sacramento Republic rallied back immediately, finding another equalizer in the 97th minute courtesy of Cicerone once again. Swinging the ball into the box, players scramble to highpoint it, allowing it to eventually fall to the forward for the easy tap-in off the scramble. 3-3, we’re tied up again.

This time the Republic took control of the match, finding the lead in the 105th minute thanks to Lewis. Putting the pressrue on, Sacramento crosses the ball in from the right side, again taking a deflection before the Bermudan can slot it home in the left corner of the net.

4-3 and HHP is going bananas.

Crossfire wouldn’t let up however, finding another moment of quality from Aman in the 111th minute. Driving towards the box, the Redmond player got the defender going the the wrong way, cutting back to his right before slotting it into the right corner from the top of the box.

4-4 with less than 10 minutes to go.

The Indomitable Club got the last laugh though, putting the nail in the coffin a minute later. After another cross finds it’s way into a dangerous area, keeper Saif Kerawala can’t punch it out of the box, instead dropping to defender Johnny Fenwick. Seeing an opening on goal, Fenwick hits a thunderous strike with his left foot, putting the ball into the back right corner.

5-4 to the Republic.

After another 10 minutes of action, Sacramento completed the comeback with the full-time whistle.

While it’s always nice to win, coach Mark Briggs was beside his squad after the match, showing his frustration for the team’s performance Wednesday night.

“Probably can’t say [the half-time message] in front of the cameras, but it wasn’t good,” Briggs stated. “It was just, it was sloppy. There’s no energy, there’s no intensity. But credit to the guys, we’re in the next round. That’s literally all I can say about the game.”

The Englishman was so displeased that he didn’t even react to the game-winning goal by Fenwick, the first time that has happened in his career as a player or coach.

“I didn’t react. I’ve never been in a game where I haven’t celebrated a goal. Tonight, I never celebrated one goal because I was frustrated,” he explained.

Taken to the depths by an amateur side, the coach gave his admiration to the opposition, leaving the match extremely impressed with their performance. Despite winning the match, Briggs felt that Crossfire were the better side Wednesday.

“To be fair to them, they took their chances, they played extremely well. And that was a great representation for that coach and that club. I feel sorry for them [that they lost] to be honest tonight,” he stated.

The Sacramento Republic will advance to the third round of the Open Cup, finding out their next opponent Thursday, April 6th.

Stay locked in at Sactown Sports


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