Three late goals propel the San Jose Earthquakes past Sacramento Republic FC in the first of two preseason friendly matches.
The match began with both teams feeling each other out, but neither gaining a clear advantage. Republic FC would find the first great look at goal in the 7th minute when forward Tyler Blackwood stole a bad pass near the top of the box. Blackwood then had a one-on-one situation with Quakes goalkeeper David Bingham. Blackwood attempted to slide the ball to the far right corner of the goal, but Bingham was quick to the ground, deflecting the ball away from goal, but only as far as forward Trevin Caesar who was following the play on the right side of the box. Caesar then sent a centering pass to Sammy Ochoa who was in the middle of the box. Ochoa took his own shot on goal, but a Quakes defender was there to block the shot and clear it from danger, keeping the match scoreless.
The Quakes would strike first in the 15th minute. After multiple attempts to throw the ball in from the top of the far right side were thwarted by defender James Kiffe, Quakes defender Nick Lima found a streaking Tommy Thompson on the right side of the box. Thompson leaped to connect with the throw and sent his one-touch pass to the center of the box, finding midfielder Shea Salinas who fought off his mark and flicked the ball into the goal giving the Quakes a 1-0 lead which would hold until half.
Republic FC came out of the break with a renewed sense of energy and began to relentlessly pressure the Quakes backline in hopes of finding an equalizer. Republic FC found their chance in the 53rd minute. Jeremy Hall fought off his man while running down the right side of the box before sending a pass back to Danny Barrera who had found open space at the top right corner of the box. Barrera took a touch before sending a strike toward goal that was blocked by a sliding Anibal Godoy. The defender however was judged to have blocked the shot with his hand giving Republic FC a penalty. Newly-signed forward Sammy Ochoa stepped up and calmly placed the ball in the lower right corner as Bingham dove left, leveling the score 1-1.
Republic FC, playing in just their third preseason match of 2017, would make several substitutions following the goal, as Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle looked to try new lineups and formations before the start of the season.
In the 66th minute the Quakes would regain their lead. Substitute forward Darwin Ceren intercepted a pass in the middle the field. Ceren then played the ball down the middle of the field to midfielder Simon Dawkins who had found space. Dawkins drove the ball down the middle before sending a low shot to the left of the goal, just past the outstretched hand of substitute goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek, giving the Quakes 2-1 lead.
Despite a strong effort by Republic FC to equalize, the Quakes would add two late goals in the 79th and 90th minutes to ensure a 4-1 victory. Midfielder Jahmir Hyka would score the Quakes’ third goal after Godoy received a long ball on the right side and slid a pass to Hyka who was streaking down the middle of the box. Hyka redirected Godoy’s pass into the net for the 3-1 lead. Danny Hoesen would score the final goal of the match after receiving a long pass from Andres Imperiale in the middle of the field. Hoesen took a few touches before sending the ball into the bottom right corner giving the Quakes the 4-1 win.
Republic FC will return to action when they take on Sacramento State Men’s Soccer Team on Wednesday, Mar. 1 at Hornet Field. Kickoff is 3 p.m. Tickets are available on the Sacramento State athletics website.
Republic FC will return home on Mar. 4 when they take on FC Cincinnati at Bonney Field. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the match are available at Ticketmaster.com.
Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations