Republic FC suffered its first USL Pro loss Saturday night, falling to Orange County Blues FC 2-1 in Irvine, the team reported in a news release.
Republic FC (1-1-1) came out pressuring Orange County’s defense and scored in the eighth minute on a header by defender Mickey Daly. Midfielder Rodrigo Lopez sent a free kick into the box, where Daly headed the ball into the left side of the net.
Orange County (1-2-0) tied it in the 18th minute. Republic FC defender Nemanja Vukovic fouled Stephen Okai in the box, setting up a penalty kick for Orange County captain Allan Russell. He sent his shot into the lower left corner of the net with goalkeeper Jake Gleeson diving right.
The score remained 1-1 until the 69th minute. Republic FC defender Harrison Delbridge received a red card after bringing down forward Gibson Bardsley just outside the box. Okai’s ensuing free kick went over the outstretched hand of Gleeson and into the upper left corner of the goal.
Goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek made his Republic FC debut following Gleeson’s collision with Russell in the 73rd minute.
Republic FC visits LA Galaxy II tonight in Carson and Arizona United SC next Saturday in Peoria. Its home opener is April 26 against the Harrisburg City Islanders at Hughes Stadium.
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