For the second year in a row, the Sacramento Republic were able to pull off another upset in front of their home fans as they topped the four-time US Open Cup champion, Seattle Sounders FC, by a score of 2-1. The USL side was on the front foot for much of the night before eventually grabbing the late winner with a goal by substitute Jure Matjašič in the 115th minute of play.
“It’s another step forward,” said Sacramento head coach Simon Elliot about the massive win. “We are pleased to win and we are pleased to get to the next round.”
The Republic controlled most of the first half as the Sounders only had one shot on target very early on in the match. Sacramento was able to create loads of chances but was unable to convert any of those chances into a goal.
“We dominated for long periods but we weren’t clinical enough,” said Elliot about his team’s performance.
The best of those chances came first in the 8th minute when Elliot Hord was just barely unable to finish on the back post. The other major chance in the first half fell to captain Adam Moffat who missed his long range effort just wide in the 35th minute as the half finished 0-0.
The second half began much like the first half as the home side was in control and looked comfortable though out. The breakthough goal eventually came in the 60th minute when the hometown kid, Cameron Iwasa, finished off a cross from Elliot Hord to give the home side the deserved 1-0 advantage.
“Elliot absolutely worked his tail off,” said Simon about the man who set up the opening goal.
— Republic FC (@SacRepublicFC) June 7, 2018
Sacramento continued to control the possession and most of the play on the field as they searched for a second goal to seal the match. The Republic came close in the 71st minute when Iwasa forced a huge save out of Sounders goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.
Then again in the 83rd minute, the man of the match, Vilyan Bijev, forced another save out of Meredith. It appeared that the home side would kill the match off as they continued to push for their second goal. Not too long after that, Sacramento’s Justin Schmidt just missed his effort on the doorstep, which surely would have ended the match in the 90th minute.
However, the Republic were hit with a deflected equalizer in the 92nd minute of play when Sounders substitute, Harry Shipp, came up with the goal to send the match to extra time and silence the home crowd on the Sounders’ second shot on target.
Sacramento did not let the goal affect them however as they went right back to dominating in the extra time.
“I was very pleased with the response after Seattle got the goal,” said Elliot. “You can’t drop your heads just because you lose a goal. You have to pick yourself up and keep going.”
Sacramento found the game-winning goal through Jure Matjašič in the 115th minute when a rebounded effort off the foot of Bijev fell kindly to Matjašič who calmly finished off the goal to give his side the 2-1 lead late.