The Sacramento Republic F.C. lost the final game of their four game homestand Friday night to the visiting Orange County Blues 2-1. Justin Braun opened the game with a goal in the seventh minute to give Sacramento a 1-0 lead in the opening minutes. But Orange County would score an equalizer in the forty-third minute with a goal by Denzel Slager and the game winner from Didier Crettenand in the forty-sixth minute. Sacramento would have a eleven to ten man advantage due to a red card issued to the Blues F.C. in the sixtieth minute but they were unable to capitalize on it and fell at home 2-1.
The rain hung over Bonney Field like a harbinger of doom as the fans entered Bonney Field. Sacramento’s triple headed scoring monster of Justin Braun, Rodrigo Lopez and Octavio Guzman were part of the starting eleven with Patrick McLain manning the nets. Rain began to come down during the beginning of the game as it would set the tone for the evening as it made for a sloppy pitch which would play a factor. The Republic F.C. would take command of the early momentum and attacked the Blues defense repeatedly, paying off when Braun would score off of a flash goal (assisted by James Kiffe) to take a 1-0 lead early in the first half.
Sacramento continued to attack Orange County’s defense with quick strikes but the held on strong with excellent goalie defensive play by Pepe Miranda. The Republic F.C. would miss an easy scoring attempt in the thirty-eighth minute when a shot attempt would rim and ricochet out of the net. The missed scoring opportunity would haunt Sacramento as the Blues would score an equalizer goal in the forty-third minute when Denzel Slager (with an assist by Didier Crettenand) would score a goal off of a breakaway one-on-one with goalie Patrick McLain tying the game at one apiece. At the half, both clubs would head back to the locker rooms with a 1-1 draw.
Orange County would open up the second half with an unassisted goal by Didier Cretttenand giving his club a 2-1 lead. The game would soon become a battle of attrition between the Blues and Republic F.C. as they would fight tooth and nail on the pitch with aggressive play becoming serious when O.C. midfielder Luka Petričević was given a red card for a hard foul giving Sacramento a one man advantage. The Republic F.C. would try to their best to score an equalizer in the final thirty minutes and attacked the Blues defense repeatedly but Miranda and company held on strong. Sacramento continued to play inspired ball but were unable to crack the strong Orange County defense as they held on for the victory.
The Republic F.C. will play again on April 29th when they travel to Salt Lake City to face the Real Monarchs. Sacramento’s next home game will be on Saturday, May 9th at Bonney Field against the visiting Seattle Sounders 2. Tickets for the game can be purchased through Ticketmaster and for fans interested in purchasing season tickets or team merchandise they can visit the team’s website for more information.