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Learning curve: Sacramento Republic 3, Las Vegas Lights 1

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Las Vegas looked better but still couldn’t get a result.

Courtesy of Republic FC

Las Vegas Lights FC scored their first goal of the 2021 season, but they had to settle for a loss again, as they fell 3-1 against Sacramento Republic FC on Wednesday at Heart Health Park.

Danny Musovski scored his first goal in any competition in 2021 in the game, but while Las Vegas put Sacramento under considerable pressure for much of the game, their defense let them down again and Republic FC rolled late to take the three points.

Six LAFC loanees started for Steve Cherundolo on the night: Tomas Romero, Alvaro Quezada, Bryce Duke, Kwadwo Opoku, Musovski and Cal Jennings.

Opoku nearly scored two minutes in, with a Las Vegas free kick leading to a bicycle kick attempt by the forward, but his shot went wide of goal.

Sac Republic took the lead in the 13th minute through Darek Formella, who received a long diagonal pass from Shannon Gomez and beat Romero to open the scoring.

Opoku suffered an injury midway through the first half and received extensive attention from the trainer, he walked off the field on his own power, with Roberto Molina replacing him in the 36th minute.

Credit to Las Vegas for pushing for an equalizer, forcing Sacramento GK Tomas Gomez to make several saves in the 1st half, with an 8-4 edge in shots. But Lights FC couldn’t manage the first goal of the season in the first 45 and the teams went to the locker rooms with Sacramento leading 1-0.

Las Vegas drew a penalty in the 50th minute, with Danny Musovski getting bundled over by Mitchell Taintor. Musovski stepped up to take the spot kick himself and scored a minute later to tie up the game.

But Sacramento got another goal in the 65th minute, as a chain of blunders in the back for Las Vegas led to a one-timer slammed home by Tucker Bone.

Christian Torres became the second Las Vegas substitute of the night, replacing Daroma in the 70th minute.

But Republic FC got an insurance goal in the 72nd minute, as their substitute, Jaime Villarreal, tapped in Formella’s assist.

Paul Son entered the game for Musovski in the 84th minute, the LAFC Academy player’s first action.

Lights FC get a week and a half off before their next game, at Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday, May 22. That’s going to be another tough fixture so the time could give Cherundolo and his team time to build some more chemistry.

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