Soccer

Losing late lead, Republic FC plays Colorado Springs Switchbacks to 2-2 draw

FILE - The Tower Bridge Battalion reacts to the team’s third goal during the match between Sacramento Republic FC and the Orange County SC at Papa Murphy’s Park in Sacramento on Saturday, April 1, 2017.
FILE - The Tower Bridge Battalion reacts to the team’s third goal during the match between Sacramento Republic FC and the Orange County SC at Papa Murphy’s Park in Sacramento on Saturday, April 1, 2017. The Sacramento Bee

On a hot Sacramento night that forced kickoff to be pushed back 15 minutes, Republic FC could not hang on to a late lead, settling for a 2-2 draw with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks on Saturday night at Papa Murphy’s Park.

With eight matches left on the schedule, Republic FC is tied with the Tulsa Roughnecks for the No. 5 spot in the USL Western Conference standings. The top four teams in each conference will host first-round playoff matches.

Agustin Cazarez scored for Republic FC in the 37th minute Saturday with a hard kick, but the Switchbacks tied the score just two minutes later with a goal by Luke Vercollone.

In the 45th minute, Matt Wiesenforth tallied his first professional goal to give Sacramento a 2-1 halftime advantage. That lead stood until the 90th minute, when Pascal Eboussi knotted the score in stoppage time with a lobbed header.

The match, originally slated to start at 7:30 p.m., was rescheduled for a 7:45 p.m. kickoff due to the heat. Sacramento reached a high of 107 degrees during the day, falling to the high 80s by the evening.

Despite an upset loss to San Antonio FC, the Real Salt Lake Monarchs became the first team to clinch a USL playoff spot this season due to Saturday’s other results.

Sacramento will hit the road to face Rio Grande Valley next Saturday at 5:30 p.m., and will then host four straight matches at Papa Murphy’s Park to round out September.

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