FC Denver poses for a team photo before their 2018 US Open Cup qualifying match vs. Indios Denver FC. Photo: FC Denver
Two goals in the second half of extra time was enough for FC Denver to eliminate UPSL side Indios Denver and qualify for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup competition for the first time.
Through the first half of regulation, the two sides exchanged shots including free kicks called inches outside of the two 18-yard boxes, and attempts ricocheting off the two crossbars. As the second half progressed, FC Denver earned more and more possession and had several quality attempts on net, but Indios goalkeeper Diego Garcia could not be beat.
The turning point in the match occurred in the 89th minute when Indios midfielder Alejandro Alaniz was issued a red card after a last ditch tackle on a FC Denver breakaway.
Down a man, FC Denver dominated and eventually scored twice in extra time. The first goal came in the 107th minute when Mark Wallace’s left footed shot skipped under Indios goalkeeper. A minute later, Alex Bernhardt sealed the victory with a second goal, redirecting a low cross off the upright and into the back of the net.
FC Denver, who compete in the Colorado Amateur Soccer League, did not allow a single goal in their qualifying games with wins over three UPSL teams: Gam United (3-0), Fort Collins United (1-0), and Indios Denver FC (2-0, AET). FC Denver will make their US Open Cup debut next spring along with fellow Colorado club Azteca FC, as the only two representatives from the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) in the 105th edition of the tournament.