ORANGE COUNTY BLUES FC 2, REPUBLIC FC 1
Storyline: On a cold and wet night, Republic FC (4-3-0) lost for only the second time in 17 USL regular season and playoff matches at Bonney Field. Despite intense pressure, Sacramento failed to score after the Blues went down a man when Luka Petricevic was red carded in the 59th minute after a studs-high tackle on Ivan Mirkovic.
Momentum swing: The Blues (3-1-0) scored in the 43rd minute of the first half on a breakaway by Denzel Slager from Didier Crettenand’s assist, then Crettenand scored less than a minute into the second half after a poor Republic FC clearance.
Early goal: Republic FC took a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute when Justin Braun slipped into a gap in the Blues’ defense and one-touched James Kiffe’s cross into the net from 8 yards out.
Tough break: Stalwart defender Mickey Daly went out in the 36th minute with what appeared to be an upper-leg injury. Daly had played every minute of Sacramento’s previous six USL matches.
Next up: 6 p.m. Wednesday at Real Monarchs SLC in Salt Lake City.