A warm Friday night greeted Colorado Rapids Reserves as they made their first trip to the Golden State this year and took on Sacramento Republic FC of USL Pro and dropped a 4-3 decision to the home team. This was a significant moment for Republic FC, as they were playing their first game at their new home pitch, Bonney Field. It was a fun match to be at, and although not all of the Republic fans know their soccer, they certainly support their team with the fervor of a team long established, rather than a brand new one.
The match started brightly for the Rapids Reserves as they got on the score sheet first by some nice link up play and a solid finish by, yes, Danny Mwanga in the 14th minute. The Rapids looked comfortable with the 1-0 lead but this soon changed as Republic rattled off three consecutive goals due to some shaky defense and Joe Nasco making a meal of the third goal for the home side. The Rapids Reserves left the pitch at the end of the first half down 3-1 and along with the deficit on the score sheet, the Rapids Reserves lost Davy Armstrong on a head to head collision.
The second half brought some offensive push which quieted the crowd. Gabriel Torres (who was wearing the armband tonight) had a sublime finish in the 50th to bring the Rapids Reserves to within one. It was nice to see Torres on the board as he has not played due to injury and he is going to need to do something big to get back in the first team. The Burgundy Boys were able to tie the game in the 54th minute with a belter from Charles Eloundou.
From there the teams settled back into a back and forth pattern. The Rapids Reserves were dealing with a lot of sloppy tackles and play from Republic which seemed to rattle them a bit. The defense was poor again as John Berner had some miscommunication which led to the fourth and ultimately game winning goal for Republic FC.
There were some flashes of quality from the Rapids Reserves, specifically Mwanga, Eloudou, Torres and Marlon Hairston, but it was not enough to overcome the defensive miscues. The loss drops the Rapids Reserves to 2-2-1 on the year and 0-2-1 in league.