Soccer

Republic FC suffers rare loss at Bonney Field

Orange County Blues FC Luka Petričević midfielder (10) and Sacramento Republic FC midfielder Ivan Mirković (18) battle for a ball in the first half on Friday, April 24, 2015 in the soccer game between FC Republic and the Orange County Blues FC at Bonney Field in Sacramento.
Orange County Blues FC Luka Petričević midfielder (10) and Sacramento Republic FC midfielder Ivan Mirković (18) battle for a ball in the first half on Friday, April 24, 2015 in the soccer game between FC Republic and the Orange County Blues FC at Bonney Field in Sacramento. jvillegas@sacbee.com

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.

Bill Paterson

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