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Brett Berry and Dhon Santos/ Douglas Taylor

Seattle Sounders fall 2-1 in extra time to Sacramento Republic FC in U.S. Open Cup 4th Round

The Seattle Sounders’ 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup campaign came to an abrupt end, as the Rave Green fell 2-1 in extra time to Sacramento Republic FC in the fourth-round fixture between the sides at Papa Murphy’s Park on Wednesday night.

Cameron Iwasa tallied the opener on the hour mark for Sacramento, and it looked like it would hold as the game-winner, but Sounders midfielder Harry Shipp came through with a dramatic equalizer at the death to send the contest into extra time. However, Sacramento’s Jure Matjašič found the game-winner in the 115th minute to send the hosts through to the Round of 16.

The Sounders were dealt a massive blow in the 37th minute when Lamar Neagle – the only forward with MLS experience in the club’s 18 – went down with what was later determined to be a groin injury and had to be replaced by rookie midfielder Alex Roldan.

The sides battled to a scoreless first half, but Iwasa managed to tuck the opening tally past Sounders goalkeeper Bryan Meredith to finish of a counter-attack to give Sacramento the 1-0 lead.

But Shipp, who subbed on for Shandon Hopeau in the second half, came to the rescue in the waning moments of second-half stoppage time with a miracle distance finish that bounced into the Sacramento net off a deflection to improbably send the contest into extra time. The Sounders were also aided by some outstanding goalkeeping from Meredith, who did well to keep Sacramento off the scoresheet by thwarting a handful of second-half chances from the host side, including a wild sequence just prior to Shipp’s equalizer.

Shipp’s heroics would be rendered moot, however, as Matjašič cashed home the dagger just five minutes from the final whistle in extra time after a rebound deflected to him off Meredith, allowing him to put the match-winning tally into the net.

Following the disappointing exit, it’s back to MLS play for the Sounders, who take on Eastern Conference foe D.C. United in a home fixture at CenturyLink Field on Saturday.

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