LA Wolves (orange) and Del Rey City squared off in the opening round of the 2016 US Open Cup open division qualifying tournament. Photo: Del Rey City SC
The Los Angeles Wolves, making their first attempt to qualify for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, got their maiden voyage off to a good start with a 3-1 win over Del Rey City SC, 3-1.
The winning goal was scored late in the second half in the 83rd minute by Malian national Suri Keita after a cross by Joel Ampofo. Ampofo later secured the insurance clincher in the 89th minute.
“We played our way in the second half, pedal to the metal” LA Wolves head coach Yan Skwara noted in his post game speech. In the first half, it was a game that was dominated by chances by Del Rey City SC.
The opening salvo was a breakaway by Matthew Case in the 5th minute, ticking it off the inside post.
“We were really well coached. We had team meetings and practices” Case said. “It was a close game and we just ended up on the wrong end. Congratulations to the Wolves”.
Coach Brian Perez also noted that it was a tight game, just like previous meetings.
“We were close,” said Perez. “It was a great game and we let them score late on us.”
Luis Loreto evened it up for the LA Wolves in the 53rd minute off a header after a torrential onslaught of crosses which ended up as missed opportunities. Soon after the goal, defender Fermin Campos for DRSCS had to be pulled with an ankle injury.
“I’m upset that I had to get out. I wish I could have done more,” Campos said about his early exit.
DRCSC young striker Andy Salguero normally plays up on offense, but played back to help fish the ball out during LA Wolves’ attacks.
“I’m more dangerous with the ball and knew I could do more for us if I had the ball. That’s why I went back”.
As Skwara was leaving the pitch he showcased his pride in this club.
“Most teams don’t play the game the coach wants them to for the full 90 minutes. We didn’t get our first 45, but we got the last 45.”
The Wolves have a tall task ahead of them as they will host giant killers Cal FC in Round 2 at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, Calif. on Nov. 21.