The Deltas scored two set piece goals to come from behind and avoid the Cupset against the PDL Burlingame Dragons. Kyle Bekker provided the two deadly free kicks from similar spots on the field that resulted in a goal in each half. The comeback victory propelled the Deltas to their first-ever Open Cup victory and into the 3rd round to face Phoenix Rising. The winner of that match will travel to take on the San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) in Round 4.
The PDL Burlingame Dragons did not make the game easy on the Deltas as they showed no fear early in the match. They forced the Deltas to defend deep in their own half and work for every 50-50 ball.
“I want to highlight the work of the Burlingame (Dragons) , because it’s always tough to play Cup games. In every country in the world, you always have surprises, and you have to play a team that has more to win than to lose,” said Deltas’ Head Coach Marc Dos Santos. “Burlingame created problems. They were a good team today.”
The first major chance the Dragons created was in the 26th minute when Matt Wiesenfarth was in on goal and forced a big save out of the Deltas’ keeper, Steward Ceus. Moments later, in the 28th minute, it was Dragons midfielder Khalid Arramdani’s turn to force another big stop out of Ceus.
The Dragons wouldn’t give up after these two big saves and kept the pressure up. They were justly rewarded for their team’s efforts and overall good play in the first half hour when in the 29th minute, Jamael Cox found the back of the net to give the Dragons the lead.
In the final 15 minutes of the 1st half, the Deltas climbed their way back into the match and eventually scored the equalizer near the end of the first half. Kyle Bekker whipped in a dangerous ball that was glanced into the back of the net by Reiner Ferreira to level the score at one heading into the break.
Marc Dos Santos told his players at the half: “Guys we got our warning.” He then went on to say in the interview that “two NASL teams got knocked out today by PDL teams. You know when you play one game, anybody could beat anybody. It’s a question of mentality.”
The Deltas came out of the 2nd half much more dominant than in the 1st half, and started to really control the game. “The 2nd half it was all us. They created problems, but a lot of it was long play and 50-50 balls that we knew we would have to be very aggressive on the second ball,” said Dos Santos.
The go ahead goal would come for the Deltas in the 63rd minute, when Bekker played another good free kick in that Jackson played back across the face of the goal to find Tommy Heinemann sliding in on the post for the go ahead goal.
“In soccer games, set plays are part of it and it’s something that we work a lot on and it’s something that with the patterns we have and the plays we have, we give a lot of importance to it. At the end of the day you have to find a way of getting results and that’s what we’ve been doing,” said the Deltas’ Coach.
The Deltas would then go on to hang tough and see out the 2-1 victory to advance to the 3rd round. “We knew it would be tough, but at the end of the day, again we find the way to win and that part of our mentality, that part of what we are building, and it’s just good to qualify”.