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Real Monarchs draw 1-1 with Sacramento Republic in tale of two halves

Real Monarchs managed a draw against USL standouts Sacramento Republic today, drawing 1-1 and remaining undefeated in three matches between the sides.

Justin Braun opened the scoring in the first half with a shot from close range on a corner that Monarchs barely defended. Even the normally effective Chris Schuler, on loan from Real Salt Lake as he recovers from injury, didn't have an impact on the play.

Halftime saw three substitutions for a Monarchs side that looked completely sapped of energy; that move — bring on a player in defense (Darion Copeland for Schuler), midfield (Tyler Arnone for Fito Ovalle), and attack (Eti Tavares for Lucas Baldin.) That revitalized the team, and from there, a dull match turned lively.

Tavares took only 15 minutes to level the score, snagging a goal after cushioning a cross on a breakaway and finishing neatly with a curler to the far post.

Real Monarchs missed a clear chance to go ahead only minutes later, when Max Rauhofer went one-on-one with the goalkeeper and wasn't able to lift the ball over his reaching foot, then put the rebounded ball too far wide on a volley.

Rauhofer missed a penalty near the end of the match to seal a frustrating match for the striker, smashing his shot off the crossbar.