Republic FC shutout Earthquakes 2-0 advance to quarterfinals of US Open Cup

Luis Felipe (#96) celebrates his goal he scored in the 28th minute with his teammates on Wednesday evening at Heart Health Park. May 25, 2022. (Courtesy of Sacramento Republic FC)

by Marko Ukalovic

SACRAMENTO — The Battle of NorCal went to the Capitol City.

Sacramento Republic FC defeated the San Jose Earthquakes in a 2-0 shutout in the Round of 16 at the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Wednesday evening at Heart Health Park.

Quakes head coach Alex Covelo started what consisted of a “B” lineup like he has during all three matches of the US Cup San Jose has participated in.

“We try to provide opportunities… that’s it. I wouldn’t change anything,” Covelo said when asked if had and regrets with who he penciled into the starting lineup.

Sacramento drew first blood in the 28th minute off a set piece. A corner kick from Rodrigo López found its ways to Luis Felipe. The former Quake headed the ball off the hands off of Quakes goalkeeper Matt Bersano for a 1-0 lead.

The best scoring chance San Jose had in the first half came in the 35th minute when Shea Salinas’ shot from 25 yards out was gobbled up by Republic FC goalkeeper Danny Vitiello.

Covelo looked to even the score when he substituted three of his regulars in the 58th minute when he inserted Cade Cowell, Cristian Espinoza and Chofis.

López iced the game for the Republic FC in the 83rd minute. Matt LaGrassa found López along the right wing and the Mexican national midfielder dribbled in and blasted a shot from 20 yards out into the upper left corner of the net that Bersano had no chance at.

“We came here to get the job done and we came up short,” said fullback Tommy Thompson. “The atmosphere was great. Sacramento Republic made it difficult for us.”

Sacramento advanced to the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup where they will play the Los Angeles Galaxy, who defeated LAFC 3-1 earlier in its Round of 16 match, in late June.

Vitiello made five shots in earning his clean sheet. Bersano made two saves on four shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose finished the match with 12 corner kicks. Sacramento had three.

Sacramento is now 16-1 at home in US Open Cup play.

San Jose is 3-1 against Sacramento in US Open Cup play.

UP NEXT: San Jose returns to MLS action when the travel down to Los Angeles to take on LAFC on Saturday 5/28 at 3:00pm at Banc of California Stadium.

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