Republic FC rallies for tie with Orange County

Republic FC came back twice in the second half Sunday to earn a 3-3 USL tie with the Orange County Blues FC in Irvine, the team reported.

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, Orange County tied the score on Didier Crettenand’s penalty kick after defender Brenton Griffiths was taken down in the box while trying for a header on a corner kick in the 50th minute. The Blues went ahead 2-1 in the 72nd minute when Trevin Caesar took a cross by Akwafei Ajeakwa and sent a right-footed volley past goaltender Evan Newton.

Republic FC tied it in the 79th minute when Cameron Iwasa beat his man to the ball on Danny Barrera’s corner kick and headed the ball past goaltender Josh Cohen.

Two minutes later, Orange County went back ahead 3-2. After Ajeakwa was brought down near the top of the penalty area 20 yards from the goal, Crettenand scored on a free kick into the top right corner of the goal.

Sacramento got the equalizer in the 83rd minute. Substitute Max Alvarez directed a cross into the box, and substitute Mackenzie Pridham launched a left-footed volley into the upper left corner of the goal.

Mike da Fonte scored Republic FC’s first goal on a one-touch, right-footed volley off Barrera’s cross in the 21st minute.

Republic FC (8-4-5, 29 points) pulled into a second-place tie with LA Galaxy II in the Western Conference, three points behind Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. Orange County (6-7-4, 22 points) is tied for seventh.