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Sacramento Republic’s U-14s nearly pulled off an incredible comeback today.

Los Angeles Basin Has Become Increasingly Dry And At Risk Of More Fires Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

If there was ever a game that deserved the description “a tale of two halves,” it was today’s Sacramento Republic U-14 academy game against NYCFC. The first half was straight up painful, with the Republic allowing five goals in just 40 minutes and digging themselves so deep a hole they could barely see sunlight.

That changed once the second half started, though, thanks to some key substitutions for the Indomitable Cubs. The Baby Quails put together a great first 20 minutes, scoring three goals and making a game of it. An NYCFC red card put the Republic U-14s up a man, but a hydration break killed the momentum that the team had built.

After the break, NYCFC recovered from the sudden Republic explosion and protected their lead, making it more difficult for the Republic U-14s to make any headway.

Ultimately, despite a fantastic second half performance, the comeback was not in the cards for the Baby Quails and they lost 5-3.

The stream itself is archived on the US Soccer YouTube page for your viewing pleasure.

Pro Tip: Like I said above, the first half is a bit painful if you’re rooting for the team from the Best Coast. Skip to the 56:30 mark in the stream if you want skip that altogether. But if you want the full experience, watch it all the way through.