Swope Park Rangers came out dominating possession in the first five minutes, but it was the visiting Sacramento Republic FC that would earn the first scoring chance in the match after Jeremy Hall was clipped down right outside the box in the 6th minute, Emrah Klimenta and Chris Christian stood over the ball a yard outside the box. It was Klimenta who tried sending a right-footed shot up and over the wall, but could not clear the defenders as the ball was cleared away.
The Rangers had two chances of their own in the 18th minute after Luis Espino blocked away Colton Storm’s cross for a corner kick for the home side. Lebo Moloto’s cross was dangerous in the middle of the box as James Musa tried to get a head to it but the Republic defense was able to narrowly clear it out for another corner kick. The second time around, Rangers defender Amer Didic went airborne and sent a powerful header back across goal but it hit the corner of the post before being cleared away for good.
Republic FC’s best chances came in the 29th minute after a sloppy turnover from the Rangers defense. Forward Sammy Ochoa pounced on a lazy pass back to keeper Adrian Zendejas but the ball got caught under his feet and he couldn’t get a shot off before the defense recovered and cleared the ball away for a corner. James Kiffe’s ensuing far post corner sailed all the way through as Luis Espino and Christian both whiffed on simultaneous shots keeping the match scoreless into the half.
The Rangers found the breakthrough goal just after halftime in the 46th minute. After a long, lopping ball led Rangers forward Tyler Pasher on towards goal, Pasher poked a shot that Republic FC keeper Evan Newton was able to parry. The Rangers star forward Kharlton Belmar pounced on the rebound chance and wasted no time in putting the go-ahead goal in the back of the net.
Republic FC had their best chance in the 71st minute. Kiffe had the ball on the left side with space before sending a cross into the middle, but it was deflected. The deflection went back to Villyan Bijev who hit the ball on the volley, but his shot went just wide left of the post keeping the match 1-0.
Despite a flurry of chances for Republic FC in the last 20 minutes, they were unable to find an equalizer and Swope Park would win 1-0. The loss ends the season for Republic FC.
Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations