FC Wichita defeated Azteca FC 1-0 in extra time of a long, rainy first round US Open Cup match in central Kansas. The lone goal came in the 104th minute when Travis Pittman redirected Deri Corfe’s deflected shot into the visitor’s net.
Azteca FC’s first venture into the US Open Cup could not have been more trying. The night before the game Azteca’s already lengthy seven-hour trek from Denver to Wichita was derailed when their bus broke down in western Kansas and the game itself will be remembered for the lengthy rain delay, two red card ejections and the endless effort the Colorado team put in without getting the result.
12 minutes in to the first half Azteca FC defender Christian Moran was given a red card ejection for a studs-up tackle on Wichita’s Deri Corfe. Despite going down to 10 men, Azteca maintained their organization and occasionally tested Wichita goalkeeper Mark Weir.
Throughout the second half the home team dominated position but both teams had equal amounts of shots on net, including the 75th minute shot by Azteca FC that rang off the cross bar. Just as the game was heating up heavy rain and lightning took over forcing the game to be paused at the 81st minute.
After a 45-minute delay, the game resumed and the final nine minutes were goalless ending the 90 minutes at 0-0.
The visitors tested Weir on multiple occasions in the first extra time period and looked like they may have what it would take to pull off the against-all-odds victory. But it was the hosts that claimed the go-head goal in the dying second of the first extra time period. Forward Travis Pittman pounced on Deri Corfe’s deflected shot and tucked his shot under the Azteca goalkeeper.
In second period of extra time Wichita looked like they were about to double their lead as Wichita attacker Matt Clare opened up the defense again. Azteca FC midfielder Jorge Velasquez flew in with a crunching tackle resulting in his second yellow card leaving the visitors short two players.
Once again the understaffed Azteca FC dug deep to find a boost of energy after the second ejection. Azteca FC tired and depilated tested Wichita up until the very end of the match however it was the home team that came out the victor.
The victory was FC Wichita’s first-ever Open Cup victory, after falling to the Des Moines Menace in their tournament debut last year. On Wednesday, May 17, they will take on their first professional opponent as they will hit the road to take on Saint Louis FC of the USL.