UPDATED Sunday, May 22 – 1:15 a.m. EST
SEE STANDINGS BELOW – Recap of Day 2 to come later tonight. Doxia Italia’s 18-0 win (no, that’s not a typo) clinched a spot in the US Open Cup while a late penalty gave the DV8 Defenders the draw they needed to qualify.
For the latest scores, check the Twitter account for TheCup.us @USOpenCup
With two spots in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup at stake this weekend, the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) Region IV Open Cup qualifying tournament in Sacramento, CA got underway on Friday afternoon under the bright sunshine of the Central Valley. The six participating teams were drawn into two groups of three, and will play an abbreviated round-robin schedule over the first two days of the tournament. The top team in each group will advance to the final on Sunday, with both the winner and runner-up gaining admission to the US Open Cup.
All six teams were in action Friday afternoon, with the Group B clash between Rosal FAS of San Francsico and Doxa Italia FC of Southern California ending in a 1-1 draw. Metro FC of Albuquergue, NM — the only one of the six teams from outside the Golden State — dispatched of an undermanned San Francisco Italian Athletic Club side 5-0 in a Group A contest. Finally in a mixed Group A/Group B cross-over game, the DV8 Defenders SC of Redwood City, CA soundly defeated the Centro Valley Eagles FC of nearby Tracy, CA by a score of 9-0.
The six teams reconvene on Saturday to play two more rounds of games that will determine the winners of the two groups. The second round begins at 9 a.m. local time, while the third and final round begins at 3 p.m. that same afternoon.
DV8 Defenders top CV Eagles FC 9-0: Within five minutes of kick-off the Defenders were on the board with their first goal against the overmatched Eagles. Settling in against an opponent without a single player on the substitutes’ bench, the Defenders took control of the match throughout the remainder of the first half and entered the halftime break holding a 3-0 lead. Three different goal scorers featured for the Redwood City side, as their balanced 3-5-2 formation saw them exploit open space on both sides of the field.
After an early second half goal from the Defenders saw the margin grow to 4-0, the Eagles began to play with more frustration, and they earned a red card for dangerous play. Playing with a man advantage and increasing the momentum already tilted in their favor, the Defenders tallied another four goals in the run of play and one on a penalty kick to push the final score to 9-0. Having a deep bench also helped the Redwood City team, as they were able to utilize all six of their substitutions and take out some starters early so they would be better rested for Saturday’s pair of games.
“We were very happy with the result,” shared DV8 Defenders SC manager Tono Aspinall. “We play in a competitive league against some quality opponents and 9-0 was the best result we have had all season. Scoring nines goals is surely a lot, but we’ll take it any day of the week.”
Albuquerque’s Metro FC outlasts SF Italian AC 5-0: Facing an opponent that was already a man short at the opening whistle, Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Metro FC rolled to a 5-0 victory over San Francisco Italian Athletic Club. The Friday afternoon match was called off just 20 minutes into the second half when the Northern California side fell below the minimum number of players on the field required by rule, due to a series of red card expulsions and player injuries.
The match did not start out quite the way the team from New Mexico had envisioned, as a Metro FC defender was forced to concede a penalty kick foul in the opening minute. Forged from a nice run on an over-the-top breakaway pass following the opening kick-off, the SF Italian forward quickly retrieved the ball after dusting himself off from the foul and placed the ball on the spot. Instead of giving the undermanned squad the lead, the striker could only watch as the Metro FC goalkeeper made a fantastic save to parry the ball from danger and keep the match scoreless.
“We looked around and then said to ourselves ‘Wow!’,” shared Metro FC coach Johonniuss Chemwero. “That could definitely have been a game-changer right there, especially because they were playing a man down. The guy who was fouled was really excited about it, but our ‘keeper saved it. That play really set the tone for our team.”
The goalkeeper’s feat spurred his teammates on and they steadily turned the momentum of the match in their favor. A well placed goal from Metro FC opened the scoring midway though the first half, and a late penalty kick goal — with a concurrent red card for SF Italian — doubled their tally going into the break. The Albuquerque outfit tallied three more goals in an abbreviated second half that saw the final score go to 5-0. Unfortunately for the Metro FC, their opponent was forced to retire the match before they could increase their goal haul in a tournament that uses goal differential as a tiebreaker in determining group winners. The tournament committee has been appealed to by the New Mexico club in order to decide on a compromise to the final score that will be fair for all members of Group A.
Doxa Italia FC held to 1-1 draw by Rosal FC: In a match between the two favored clubs in Group B, neither side could come out on top in an evenly played 1-1 draw. Doxa Italia, a Southern California based team with a rich history of success in soccer tournaments around the state played with a high energy fashion that was matched by the San Francisco based Rosal FC. With neither side able to capture all three points in the match, both teams will need to earn points against their cross-group opponents in order to separate themselves and earn first place in Group B.
|SF Italian AC||3||0||3||0||0||1||15|
|CV Eagles FC||3||0||3||0||0||1||35|
|Group A||SF Italian AC||0:5||Metro FC||6:00 pm ET|
|Group B||Rosal FC||1:1||Doxa Italia FC||6:00 pm ET|
|Cross-over||CV Eagles FC (B)||0:9||DV8 Defenders (A)||6:00 pm ET|
|Group A||DV8 Defenders||2:0||SF Italian AC||Noon ET|
|Group B||Rosal FC||8:1||CV Eagles FC||Noon ET|
|Cross-over||Metro FC (A)||0:6||Doxa Italia FC (B)||Noon ET|
|Group A||DV8 Defenders||2:2||Metro FC||6:00 pm ET|
|Group B||Doxa Italia FC||18:0||CV Eagles FC||6:00 pm ET|
|Cross-over||SF Italian AC (A)||1:7||Rosal FC (B)||6:00 pm ET|
|May 22||Doxa Italia FC||vs||DV8 Defenders||Noon ET|