Sacramento Republic FC earn a road point after four goals are scored in the final 20 minutes of a dramatic affair with Orange County Blues FC.
Orange County Blues FC controlled most of the possession in the first 20 minutes of the match, but it was Sacramento Republic FC who struck first on a corner kick in the 21st minute. Midfielder Danny Barrera played a short corner to Alfonso Motagalvan, who sprinted toward the corner flag. Motagalvan then played the ball back to Barrera, who sent a cross to the far post toward Mike da Fonte. The defender sent a one-touch, right-footed volley that hit the inside of the right post and found the back of the net to give Republic FC an early 1-0 lead, which would hold until halftime.
The second half started with Republic FC as the aggressor, but this time it was the Blues that struck first. The Blues drew a penalty in the 50th minute after defender Brenton Griffiths was brought down in the box while attempting to get his head on a corner kick. Midfielder Didier Crettenand stepped up to the take the penalty, rolling the ball into the right corner of the goal while goalkeeper Evan Newton dove left, leveling the score at 1-1.
The Blues found the net again in the 72nd minute. Former Republic FC midfielder Ivan Mirković played a ball through on the left side to substitute forward Akwafei Ajeakwa, who settled the ball on the far left side of the box before sending a cross toward the back post. Trevin Caesar jumped in the air and sent a right-footed volley past Newton to put the Blues ahead 2-1.
Republic FC wasted no time in responding, finding an equalizer in the 79th minute. Barrera took a corner again, this time playing it to the near post. Forward Cameron Iwasa beat his man to the ball, jumping high in the air to head the ball into the goal, to even the score to 2-2.
The Blues once again took the lead in the 81st minute. About 20 yards from goal, near the top of the penalty area on the left side, Ajeakwa was taken down for a free kick. Two Blues players created a slight opening in the wall on Crettenand’s ensuing free kick, which the midfielder used as he hit a hard shot into the top right corner of the goal, giving the Blues a 3-2 lead.
Republic FC once again responded quickly, finding another equalizer in the 83rd minute. Defender James Kiffe played the ball up the left side of the field to Max Alvarez. The substitute midfielder took the pass and immediately crossed the ball into the box, bouncing pas Iwasa and finding substitute forward Mackenzie Pridham. Pridham’s left-footed volley found the upper left corner of the goal and past the diving Josh Cohen making the score 3-3.
Republic FC will continue their five-match road stretch when they travel to Colorado Springs, Colo. and take on Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on July Saturday, 16. Kickoff is 6 p.m. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday.
Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations