skip navigation

Cristian Parano sparks Republic FC comeback in Open Cup victory over Quakes

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 05/22/24, 1:06AM EDT


Argentine played key role as Sacramento struck twice in two minutes in extra time to claim thrilling 4-3 victory

Sacramento Republic FC's Sebastian Herrera and Cristian Parano celebrate the side's fourth goal of the night against the San Jose Earthquakes in the Round of 16 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. | Photo courtesy Sacramento Republic FC

Cristian Parano entered for Sacramento Republic FC as a final roll of the dice, down by a goal with 15 minutes of extra time remaining against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Within two minutes, the Argentine playmaker had spun the game on its head.

Parano’s secondary assist on Luis Felipe Fernandes’ equalizer and low cross for Sebastián Herrera’s game-winner sent Republic FC into the Quarterfinals of the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night with a thrilling 4-3 victory against NorCal rival the Quakes before a sellout crowd of 11,569 fans at Heart Health Park.

In a contest that saw the lead chance three times, San Jose appeared to have grabbed momentum late in the second half and into the first period of extra time. The Quakes equalized with 10 minutes to go on a brilliant free kick by Christian Espinoza from beyond the top-right edge of the penalty area that ducked low inside the right post just past a diving Danny Vitiello in the Sacramento net.

After Amahl Pellegrino hit the right post for the visitors with a curling effort four minutes into extra time, they grabbed the lead in the 100th minute when recent Designated Player signing Hernán López played a give-and-go with Preston Judd to move into the left side of the penalty area before shooting low into the net.

Introduced during the halftime break in extra time, however, Parano quickly got to work. The 2019 Championship Young Player of the Year provided immediate energy on the right side and just 28 seconds into the second period combined with 19-year-old Republic FC Academy product Rafael Jauregui to spring Fernandes into the penalty area. The Brazilian made no mistake against his former club, shooting low into the right corner.

A little over a minute later, Parano made his presence felt again. Receiving possession just inside the right edge of the penalty area from Fernandes, a feint inside and cut to his right created space for a low cross that Herrera met with a first-time finish at the top of the six-yard box to send the home crowd into even wilder celebrations.

San Jose tried to find a way back again to force a penalty shootout, but Espinoza was unable to find a second piece of free kick magic with four minutes to go as Vitiello made a comfortable save. From there, the hosts salted away the seconds to advance for the second consecutive Open Cup meeting between the sides.

The Quakes had taken an early advantage in the 11th minute as Judd scored from close range on their first chance of the game. Sacramento responded six minutes later through Kieran Phillips, who got on the end of a cross from the left by Fernandes before the ball deflected home off a defender. The English forward bagged a second for Republic FC seven minutes before halftime with a clean first-time finish off Jack Gurr’s cross from the right before Espinoza pulled San Jose level in the second half.

Extra time then provided even greater drama in a modern Open Cup-era classic.

As he provided a spark to ignite his side, Parano and Republic FC walked away winners and into Wednesday night’s Quarterfinal draw.

Scoring Summary
SJ – Preston Judd (Benjamin Kikanovic) 11’
SAC – Kieran Phillips (Luis Felipe Fernandes) 17’
SAC – Kieran Phillips (Jack Gurr) 38’
SJ – Christian Espinoza 80’
SJ – Hernán López (Preston Judd) 100’
SAC – Luis Felipe Fernandes (Rafael Jauregui) 106’
SAC – Sebastián Herrera (Cristian Parano) 107’

Follow the USL Championship

Most Recent News

Most Read News

Latest Videos