The entrance sign at Matthew J. Boxer Soccer Stadium on Nov. 19, 2017. Boxer Stadium first opened back in 1953. Photo: Thomas Hodul
El Farolito stormed into the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup with an 8-0 win over Cal Victory of the UPSL. The San Francisco Soccer Football League (SFSFL) champions and former Open Cup champions (1993) took care of business to qualify for the Open Cup proper rounds for the second consecutive season.
The match kicked off at 11:15 a.m. local time in San Francisco at historic Boxer Stadium. The early kickoff time seemed to have Cal Victory slightly asleep at the wheel.
El Farolito began the scoring inside of six minutes when Ederson De Silva dribbled the ball uncontested to the top of the box and curled his shot passed the helpless goalkeeper to start what became a long morning of scoring.
Gustavo Ruelas would add two more for El Farolito by the 12th minute of the match. The first goal came off of a beautiful cross from the right side off of the foot of Arnold Rivas, which Ruelas poked home, and a second from the left side off of the foot of Andres Rodriguez, which Ruelas headed home.
Carlos Montes, the hat trick hero for El Farolito in their opening round qualifying match, scored in the 30th minute to make the score 4-0 to the host side. Moments later, it got worse for Cal Victory when Jefferson Nunez made a dangerous tackle from behind and picked up his 2nd yellow, putting his team down to ten men.
MORE: California wildfires not stopping Cal Victory FC in quest for 2018 US Open Cup berth
El Farolito picked up a fifth goal just before the end of the first half to extend their lead to 5-0. Marco Lubel scored this time for El Farolito to send his team into the break with a commanding lead.
The scoring continued early in the second half for El Farolito as Carlos Montes scored in both the 48th and 55th minutes to once again pick up a hat trick in the US Open qualifying rounds. El Farolito added an eighth goal to put the final stamp on a decisive victory in the 65th minute, when Ederson De Silva picked up his second goal of the match.
“I’m really happy with the group. They have showed a lot of effort since the beginning of August since we had to get this roster together,” said El Farolito head coach Santiago Lopez. “They knew the goal was to qualify no matter how. I’m not surprised the way they did it with zero goals against in three games. It’s a great feeling to qualify and I’m really proud of the group.”
El Farolito did not allow a single goal during its qualifying run, outscoring all three opponents by a combined score of 16-0. They defeated Dynamos FC, 3-0 back on Sept. 23 and Academia FC, 5-0 on Oct. 22.
Following a long league season that saw his side earn the San Francisco League title once again, Lopez said, “I need a long break. It’s been since February we have been working. These guys deserve their long break and to rest up with their families. We will get back together end of January and start the planning for next year.”
El Farolito can now look ahead to the club’s second consecutive trip to the US Open Cup which is scheduled to begin in early May of 2018.