In a battle of Southern California amateur clubs, PSA Elite won a penalty kick shootout against the PDL’s Los Angeles Misioneros to advance to Round 2 for the second time in three years. It wasn’t looking good for the Irvine, Calif.-based club as they entered the second period of extra time trailing 1-0 and down a man, but they were awarded a penalty kick in the 111th minute to tie the game up. In a nailbiting shootout, the two teams would combine to miss five shots, but PSA emerged victorious 3-2.
The Elite, making their third straight Open Cup appearance, were awarded hosting rights for the first time and held the match at the StubHub Center Training Field in Carson, Calif. With the win, they head south to take on the NPSL’s San Diego Flash, who advanced to the second round after their opponent SC Corinthians USA forfeited.
After a relatively even first half, with both teams sharing periods of possession, the game changed in the 61st minute when PSA defender Noah Gaines was shown his second yellow card. PSA adjusted to being shorthanded, but the Misioneros, as expected, held the bulk of the possession for the remainder of the half. Despite the man advantage, Los Angeles was unable to break the deadlock as the referee blew for the end of regulation.
Not wanting to lose to a shorthanded team, the Misioneros came out on fire in the first period of extra time. They received a spark from their newest signing, former Chivas USA and US youth international Bryan de la Fuente. Streaking down the left wing, de la Fuente played the ball through to Javier Castro who got in behind the defense and put the ball past goalkeeper Kris Milton to make it 1-0.
After falling behind, PSA Elite president Alex Lujan described his team as ‘discombobulated’ after that opening goal, but managed to hold it together until the second overtime. It was desperation time for the home team as they pushed forward to get any break they could. They would get that break with about 10 minutes to play when Jose Ferciado dribbled through a couple of defenders and was taken down in the box to earn a penalty kick. Ferciado would take the kick himself and beat goalkeeper Jose Miranda-Boudy to the left side to tie the game up.
After the equalizer, the game turned physical and as a result, the number of players evened back up. After some rough play, Misioneros defender Angel de Alba received a pair of yellow cards, both for dissent to make it 10 players each for the final five minutes of extra time. Without a goal, the match went to penalty kicks.
PSA Elite got off to a good start as Milton saved Los Angeles’ first attempt and Mats Bjurman led off with a goal. However, PSA missed two straight attempts, one missed and one saved by Miranda-Boudy sending the shootout into the fourth round tied at 1-1.
The game would be decided in the fifth round as Milton saved Javier Castro’s attempt and PSA’s Ferciado played the role of hero again by scoring the game-winning spot kick to send his team into the second round.