Sacramento Republic FC kicked off its 2017 US Open Cup campaign with an emphatic 4-0 win over UPSL side FC Anahuac tonight. Republic’s goalfest was led by Harry Williams, who scored twice. Also scoring were Wilson Kneeshaw and Daniel Trickett-Smith.
Paul Buckle made a significant tactical switch for the match, changing up Republic’s formation from the usual 4-4-1-1 to a 3-5-2. The change allowed wingbacks Elliott Hord and Enrique Montano, in for an injured James Kiffe, to get further up the field and into the attack.
As might be expected against an amateur side like FC Anahuac, Republic started the game off strong.
Harry Williams opened the scoring for Republic early on in the first half with a goal in the 12th minute. Elliott Hord provided the assist on an excellent cross from the right flank.
The buildup to the goal was fairly typical of the Republic’s play in the first half. Hord routinely found acres of space out wide and was able to put together an impressive performance.
The Prince of Quails doubled Republic’s lead just three minutes later with a similar goal. Hord supplied the assist yet again.
Interestingly, the buildup to the second goal was extremely similar to that of the first goal. Just like the first time, Hord collected a pass with space on the right wing and sent in a cross for Williams to pounce on.
Republic nearly got a third goal in the 26th minute when the FC Anahuac goalkeeper almost allowed a back pass to roll into the back of the net. Thankfully for the visitors, he was able to snatch it before that happened.
FC Anahuac had its first chance of the match in the 31st minute after a Republic turnover in midfield, but Dominik Jakubek was able to make the save.
The visitors made the first substitution of the game in the 41st minute, bringing off the team’s player-coach before the end of the first half. Interestingly, he did not seem too thrilled about the substitution despite being the coach.
Half Time Stats
Sacramento Republic: 2 goals, 9 shots, 5 shots on target, 71% possession, 4 offside
FC Anahuac: 0 goals, 4 shots, 2 shots on target, 29% possession
Republic carried the momentum of the first half right into the second, pressing the attack right from the start.
Hord and Williams nearly connected for a goal in the 53rd minute, but the FC Anahuac goalkeeper was able to make the save.
Republic had another excellent chance in the 55th minute when Sammy Ochoa broke away from the opposition defense. Unfortunately for the home team, his shot was saved. Williams pounced on the rebound but skied the shot.
Paul Buckle made his first substitutions of the match in the 60th minute, bringing on Wilson Kneeshaw and Trevin Caesar for Williams and Ochoa.
Kneeshaw wasted little time in making an impact on the match. He immediately put the FC Anahuac defense under pressure and earned a penalty in the 64th minute. The Arden Archer then buried the penalty and extended the Republic’s lead to 3-0.
Even after Kneeshaw’s goal, Republic continued to push forward to extend its lead. Trevin Caesar had two excellent chances to score between the 70th and 76th minute, but he was unable to put them away.
While Republic pushed forward for a fourth goal, the visitors looked to capitalize on any chances they could. FC Anahuac had two chances in the final 20 minutes of the match — both on set pieces. Thankfully for Republic, even though the visitors caught them sleeping, Dominik Jakubek preserved the shutout with a pair of saves.
Buckle made his final substitution of the night to help Republic see out the game by bringing on Daniel Trickett-Smith for Jeremy Hall.
Caesar had yet another opportunity in the 84th minute, but once again he held on to the ball too long and the opportunity was wasted. Although he was unable to score himself, his attempt set the stage for the Republic’s fourth goal of the match from Trickett-Smith.
DTS’s goal proved to be the Republic’s final one of the match. The referee blew the whistle with little to no stoppage time, bringing the game to an end and sending Republic to the next round of the US Open Cup.
Republic will face either fellow USL team Reno 1868 FC or the Seattle-based OSA FC in the next round. We will find out later tonight which it will be.
Vote in our Man of the Match poll:
Ok @SacRepublicFC fans, who is your Man of the Match tonight?— IndomitableCtySoccer (@BlurbsIndomita) May 18, 2017
Sacramento Republic: 4 goals, 29 shots, 14 shots on target, 65% possession, 8 offside, 1 yellow card.
FC Anahuac: 0 goals, 8 shots, 4 shots on target, 35% possession, 1 yellow card