US Open Cup: San Jose Earthquakes prevail over Sacramento Republic 2-1


It had all the makings of a NorCal derby match before 3,788 spectators at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, Calif. In the end, Mark Watson’s San Jose Earthquakes found a way to win, despite the team failing to deliver with their online streaming of their 2-1 victory over Preki’s Sacramento Republic in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

With the win, San Jose will either travel to the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash. to face the Seattle Sounders or host PSA Elite of Irvine, Calif. Here are six things we learned from Wednesday night’s match at Kezar Stadium between the San Jose Earthquakes and Sacramento Republic.

1. High energy to start

Early on in the first half, Harrison Delbridge was cautioned in the third minute for a strong challenge. With this being a battle between both MLS side and affiliate, the play was extremely physical, with both sides clamoring for the ball, and the fouls piling up. San Jose’s Cordell Cato had a chance in the fourth minue, but it was cleared. In the 9th minute, Sacramento goalkeeper Dominuk Jakubek denied Michael Fucito. In the 13th minute, Sacramento forward Max Alvarez tried a cross but it was easily intercepted.

2. Sacramento turning the tables

The pressure was on San Jose to get ahead early, and they applied it on the Republic. However, Sacramento had other ideas, and in the 29th minute, Alvarez had a corner easily cleared out of the 18 by the San Jose defense and goalkeeper David Bingham. At that point, the Republic were gaining confidence and controlling the flow of the match. The Quakes’ Atiba Harris was cautioned in the 32nd minute for a harsh challenge.

3. Both teams trade goals before halftime

In the 38th minute, Sacramento defender Nemanja Vukovic was taken down in the visitors’ defensive third. Steven Lenhart, one of the most polarizing figures in Major League Soccer, delivered a pass to Cato in the 40th minute, but Republic defender Jack Avesyan was there to deny the opportunity. In the 42nd minute, Justin Braun gave Sacramento a 1-0 lead over San Jose. Chad Bartlome had the assist on Braun’s goal.

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In the 44th minute, U.S. Men’s National Team also-ran/Quakes defense Clarence Goodson heads it in, but a yellow card was issued to Bartlome, who was the hero in their 1-1 draw with Arizona United in USL PRO action over the weekend. Quakes midfielder Khari Stephenson’s conversion made it 1-1 at the 45th minute. Sacramento midfielder Rodrigo Lopez was cautioned in the second minute of first half stoppage time for a foul.

4. Sacramento ratchets up the pressure

Early on the second half, the tempo quickened, with everything to play for—namely, a date with either Irvine’s PSA Elite or the Seattle Sounders. In the 46th minute, the aformentioned Lopez tried to find Braun but it missed the target. In the 49th, Lopez fancied a chance on goal for himself, but it was speculative at best, going high and wide right. A couple of Republic free kicks in the 53rd and 55th minutes were expertly cleared by the Quakes defense. The Quakes were feeling the head in the 58th minute, as Sacramento continued to press.

5. Cato, San Jose take back lead

In the 62nd minute, Atiba Harris slotted a through ball to no one in black and blue. Lenhart was the closest to that pass. Max Alvarez continued to ratched up the pressure with a shot that just went six inches over the bar in the 67th minute of play. In that same minute, Koval left the game and in came midfielder Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, who has been earning more and more minutes in league play as the season went on.

Jakubek showed his class in the 68th minute with a solid save on Cato. In the 70th minute, Harris made a meal of his opportunity and conceded a goal kick to Jakubek. In the 73rd minute, Cato finished his opportunity, eluding Jakubek to give the Quakes a 2-1 lead. If at first you don’t succeed, shoot and shoot again, and that’s what Cato did. With the lead, the Quakes needed to close the match off with class for the last 17 minutes and stoppage time of regulation.

6. Quakes close out match in impressive fashion

Republic midfielder Chad Bond came in for Octavio Guzman in the 79th minute but in the 77th minute, Bartlome was sent off for receiving a second yellow. Conventional wisdom would now suggest that closing off the match would be a bit easier for the hosts. Quakes defender Ty Harden was cautioned in the 83rd minute. Billy Schuler came in for Fucito in the 85th minute to bring in fresh legs, while Bingham made a huge save in the 86th minute of play. Gilberto and Dakota Collins came in for Steven Evans and Alvarez in the 86th, respectively. Lenhart almost made it 3-1 and game over but missed wide left. Late in the match, Pierazzi was given a caution for a foul. All in all, the match featured six yellows and one red card in a true NorCal derby clash.