SACRAMENTO, CA— (club release) The Kitsap Pumas earned a cup tie against an MLS foe by dispatching the USL’s Sacramento Republic, 3-1, in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday. The Pumas scored three times in a five-minute span in the second half and prevailed despite the Republic adding their own goal. (Cover photo: Kitsap Pumas Twitter.)
Despite Kitsap opening the game on the front foot, Sacramento got the first chance of the game. Right back Emrah Klimenta, just back from his first appearance with the Montenegro senior national team, crossed a ball in for forward Cameron Iwasa, whose point-blank shot was deflected wide by the Pumas’ Matt Eronemo.
Two minutes later, it was Kitsap with a golden opportunity as Joel Waterman crossed for Hamza Haddadi in the area, but his header went straight to Republic goalkeeper Evan Newton.
Scoreless at halftime, Sacramento brought on two of its regular starters who began the game on the bench, Harry Williams and James Kiffe. However, Kitsap would open the scoring on the hour mark.
Left winger Mike Ramos dribbled into the penalty area and crossed for Javier Castro in space in the middle of the penalty area. Castro made no mistake and slotted him what would be his first of two goals on the evening.
Undeterred, Sacramento equalized one minute later as Klimenta again sent a cross into the penalty area. A goalmouth scramble ensued, and Iwasa got the last touch to take it past Pumas goalkeeper Matt Grosey.
The wildest spell of the match was far from over, though.
Kitsap took the lead again in the 63rd minute, as Ramos finished a shot from Haddadi that the goalkeeper could only parry into his path in the middle of the penalty area. Two minutes later, Castro sealed the result with his second of the night and third overall in Open Cup play including his winner against Seattle Sounders U23 in the Third Round.
With a two-goal lead, the Pumas dropped back to defend and valiantly staved off multiple set-piece opportunities and run-of-play chances from the host side. With the win, the club advances to the Fourth Round for the first time in its history, where it will face the Sounders’ MLS side.
The match will take place June 15 at Starfire in Tukwila, Wash. In the meantime, the Pumas will continue their league calendar on Sunday against the Victoria Highlanders north of the border.
— Match Report —
Match: Sacramento Republic vs. Kitsap Pumas
Date: June 1, 2016
Competition: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup — Third Round
Venue: Bonney Field — Sacramento, Calif.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. PT
Weather: 90 degrees, clear
KIT – Javier Castro (Mike Ramos), 60’
SAC – Cameron Iwasa, 61’
KIT — Mike Ramos, 63’
KIT — Javier Castro, 65’
Sacramento: 12.Evan Newton — 23.Emrah Klimenta, 3.Mike da Fonte, 8.Chris Christian, 7.Joaquin Rivas (20.James Kiffe, 46) — 17.Octavio Guzmán, 6.Agustin Cazarez (18.Daniel Trickett-Smith, 65), 5.Danny Barrera, 4.Alfonso Motagalvan — 10.Thomas Stewart (9.Harry Williams, 46), 14.Cameron Iwasa
Subs Not Used: 1.Dominik Jakubek, 11.Max Álvarez, 19.Mackenzie Pridham, 22.Chase Minter
Head coach: Paul Buckle
Kitsap: 18.Matt Grosey — 27.Ian Lange, 4.Rene DeZorzi, 3.Cory Keitz, 19.Matt Eronemo — 20.Joel Waterman (8.Ibrahim Diaby, 62), 6.Nick Hamer — 28.Javier Castro (13.Kalem Scott, 77), 10.Jesús Sánchez, 30.Mike Ramos — 9.Hamza Haddadi (15.Darius Madison, 69)
Subs Not Used: 1.Arturo Oberto, 5.Trevor Jensen, 14.Connor MacMillan, 22.Daniel Davidson
Head coach: Cameron MacDonald
Stats Summary: SAC / KIT
Shots: 14 / 13
Saves: 6 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 12 / 13
Offside: 1 / 2
KIT — Joel Waterman (caution), 37’
SAC — Emrah Klimenta (caution), 71’
KIT — Darius Madison (caution), 90’
The Kitsap Pumas enter their eighth season in the Premier Development League in 2016 after winning the Northwest Division for the fourth time in 2015. The Pumas won the PDL national championship in 2011 and advanced to the national final again in 2014, establishing themselves as a reputable professional club with a proven record of moving players onto the next level in the process. Kitsap plays its home matches at Gordon Field, an intimate 1,500-capacity stadium on the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in Bremerton, Wash.
— #AllezPumas —