Sam Werner scored the lone goal as Sacramento Republic FC took a 1-0 victory against Reno 1868 FC in the Second Round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night. | Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sam Werner scored a late game-winner as Sacramento Republic FC took victory against Donner Pass Derby rival Reno 1868 FC to advance to the Third Round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at a soggy Papa Murphy’s Park on Wednesday night.
With the win, Republic FC will play host to fellow Championship side Fresno FC in the Third Round on Wednesday, May 29.
Republic FC had a pair of early chances that saw Tyler Blackwood fire wide of the right post and Drew Skundrich force a save by Reno goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski, but the best chance of the first half fell to the visitors as Aidan Apodaca found space in the penalty area for a turning shot toward the left corner that was denied by Republic FC goalkeeper Rafael Diaz.
The game remained scoreless at the halftime break as the consistent rain began to create standing water patches on the field, but in the 58th minute Apodaca created a big chance to put the visitors ahead when he got in behind the Republic FC defense and beat Diaz with his finish, only for the shot to ring off the right post. Reno’s Mark Hernandez then tested Diaz with a free kick from 25 yards out just right of center that the goalkeeper managed to punch away to safety.
Sacramento’s Werner went close from distance with just over 20 minutes to go with a shot that went just high of the crossbar, and Blackwood got a chance in the 77th minute later that he fired straight at Marcinkowski from the top of the penalty area after a clever headed pass by Stefano Bonomo.
Republic FC took the lead with eight minutes to go, however, as Skundrich created space in the right side of the penalty area as he turned a defender off a throw-in and centered for Werner, whose finish was low and true into the back of the net.
Reno had a chance in the final minute to level but Apodaca sent his header just wide of the right post, while 1868 FC threw everything into attack in stoppage time the Republic FC defense held firm, clearing decisively on each entry into the penalty area to earn a place in the Third Round for a sixth consecutive season.