SACRAMENTO, Cali. - Goals from Danny Mwanga, Gabriel Torres and Charles Eloundou proved in vain as Sacramento Republic FC found a late winner to condemn Colorado Rapids Reserves to a 4-3 loss in California on Friday night.
It all began so brightly for the Rapids. Seeking a first league win of the season, Mwanga made the most of a fortunate deflection to collect the ball in center field before firing low past Sacramento goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, with just 14 minutes on the clock.
The hosts, playing the inaugural match at their brand new Bonney Field stadium, responded well, converting three unanswered goals before the interval. Justin Braun scored the equalizer on the 20 minute mark, a glancing header after the Rapids had struggled to clear the initial danger. Rodrigo Lopez, whose assist brought up the first goal, then struck twice in the space of three minutes.
Rapids Reserves' coach, Steve Cooke, got the reaction he was looking for after the break, as goals from Torres and Eloundou dragged the visitors back into the contest within nine minutes of the re-start.
In what was an open, entertaining encounter, both sides created chances. Substitute 'keeper John Berner produced a string of fine saves, but he was finally beaten just six minutes from time, as Mike Fucito stole in ahead of the rookie and squeezed home the winner from a tight angle.
Academy players Quentin Pearson, Miles Chow, Kortne Ford and Enda O'Neill were all afforded valuable minutes, while central defender Gale Agbossoumonde got a full 90 under his belt.
On the down-side, Homegrown Player Davy Armstrong sustained a head injury and was replaced by Pearson after just half an hour.
COL - Danny Mwanga (Charles Eloundou), 14'
SAC - Justin Braun (Rodrigo Lopez), 20'
SAC - Rodrigo Lopez (unassisted), 39'
SAC - Rodrido Lopez (Nemanja Vukovic), 42'
COL - Gabriel Torres (Marlon Hairston), 50'
COL - Charles Eloundou (unassisted), 54'
SAC - Mike Fucito (unassisted), 84'
Sacramento (4-4-1-1): Jake Gleeson; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly, Harrison Delbridge (Jack Avesyan 66), Nemanja Vuković, Steven Evans (Mike Fucito 46), George Fochive, Max Alvarez (Octavio Guzman 63), Rodrigo Lopez, Adam Jahn (Chad Bartlomé 70), Justin Braun.
Subs not used: Dominik Jakubek, Dakota Collins, Chad Bond.
Rapids (4-4-2): Joe Nasco (John Berner 46); Thomas Piermayr (Miles Chow 46), Gale Agbossoumonde, Grant Van De Casteele, Chris Klute (Kortne Ford 76), Marlon Hairston (Enda O'Neill 72), Jared Watts, Davy Armstrong (Quentin Pearson 30), Charles Eloundou, Gabriel Torres, Danny Mwanga.
COL - Charles Eloundou (caution), 34'
SAC - Jack Avesyan (caution), 79'
Referee: Michael Zapata
Assistant 1: Mike Kampmeinert
Assistant 2: Eric Ehrhardt
4th Official: Ezequiel Molina
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.