Renato Bustamante of Fresno FC celebrates his goal against Orange County FC in the Second Round of the 2018 US Open Cup. Photo: Kiel Maddox
Fresno FC fended off a pesky Orange County FC for a 2-0 (AET) victory in the Second Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup at Lamonica Stadium.
Terran Campbell opened the scoring for Fresno in the 95th minute. Campbell one-timed a Jose Cuevas pass outside the penalty area for a 1-0 lead.
“It felt amazing (to score the goal),” Campbell said. “It was the first start for me and I am really happy about it. The guys told me I was doing really well and to keep it up.”
Two minutes later, Orange County forward Tomas Canale nearly had the equalizer for the NPSL side, but his shot bounced off the crossbar and was quickly cleared away by Fresno defender Mickey Daly.
The Foxes had a chance to increase their lead in the 106th minute, but forward Renato Bustamante was stood up by goalkeeper Hugo Gomez.
Bustamante, however, would not be denied. In the 118th minute, he scored from six yards out on an assist by Campbell to give the home side a 2-0 lead.
Fresno were without head coach Adam Smith for the club’s inaugural Open Cup match. Smith is in Wales renewing his UEFA coaching license. In Smith’s place was assistant coach Robert Earnshaw. The Cardiff City legend said it was workout being on the touchline for his first ever Open Cup match.
“Tired,” Earnshaw said with a chuckle about how he felt post-match. “First of all congratulations to OC. I thought they were excellent and worked very, very hard. They train two days a week. They gave us a very good test and It was a difficult game. We had to be patient and find the opportunity.”
Orange County FC relied on the counter-attack in the match and often found themselves with the 3 on 2 advanage. Winger Daniel Crisostomo often flew past the Zorros midfield and attempted three shots.
Fresno FC had plenty of opportunities in the final third to take a lead in the first half. None better than Cuevas’ free kick, but Gomez made a fingertip save to deny the former Fuego midfielder.
With the 2-0 victory, Fresno advance to the Third Round of the US Open Cup and travel to Sporting AZ FC in Chandler, AZ. Sporting AZ upset Phoenix Rising (USL), 5-4 in a penalty shootout thriller.
The match is slated for a 7 p.m. MST kickoff at Chandler-Gilbert Community College on May 23.
“You can’t take anyone for granted or lightly,” Campbell said. “We just got to go out there and play hard and we’ll come out with a victory.”