Soccer

Republic FC shock top-seeded Real Monarchs SLC in first round of playoffs

Republic FC goalkeeper Evan Newton, shown during a match last season, came up with two big saves in penalty kicks against Real Monarchs SLC on Friday in the USL Western Conference quarterfinal match.
Republic FC goalkeeper Evan Newton, shown during a match last season, came up with two big saves in penalty kicks against Real Monarchs SLC on Friday in the USL Western Conference quarterfinal match. Sacramento Bee file

Republic FC goalkeeper Evan Newton made two saves in a penalty-kick shootout to help secure a huge upset over Real Monarchs SLC, the top seed in the USL playoffs, on Friday night.

Sacramento converted all three of its PK attempts from Hayden Partain, James Kiffe and Jeremy Hall, and Real Monarchs only got one past Newton in the Western Conference quarterfinal at Rio Tinto Stadium, where Republic FC had previously not won a match.

It look as if eighth-seeded Sacramento might get the job done in regulation, until a late penalty.

Republic FC led 1-0 after Luis Espino’s goal in the 49th minute on an assist from Wilson Kneeshaw. They led until the 86th minute, when Chandler Hoffman converted a penalty kick after Agustin Cazarez brought Max Lachowecki down in the box.

The teams went scoreless through 30 minutes of extra time to force the game to penalty kicks.

Republic FC’s West semifinal opponent will be the winner of Saturday’s match between the No. 4 Swope Park Rangers and No. 5 Phoenix Rising FC.

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