In the first knockout round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Academica SC and El Farolito went head-to-head for a spot in the Second Round. Although Academica’s home field in Turlock, Calif. was packed with their supporters, El Farolito, the 1993 US Open Cup champions, walked away from the match-up with a 2-1 win.
El Farolito, the club that won the US Open Cup back in 1993 under the name CD Mexico, are back in the tournament after being disqualified for switching leagues a year ago.
The first goal was scored by El Farolito in the 21st minute by Miguel Garduno and was assisted by Edson Cardona. The goal came off of a free kick taken by Cardona, who hit it to the near post where Garduno volleyed it into the opposite side of the goal to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
In the 34th minute of the match, Leonardo Fredes doubled the lead for El Farolito on what will likely be a finalist for goal of the tournament.
Hugo Viegas sprinted after the ball down the right wing and sent a low-driving cross into the box toward Fredes. Fredes met the ball running toward the near post, flipped the ball up into the air, and pulled off an incredible bicycle kick as he contorted his body to fire the ball to the far post and into the side netting. The celebration was tempered as Fredes injured himself as he fell to the ground after the kick. It was later revealed that Fredes broke his arm.
The goal was featured on Sportscenter’s Top 10 list on ESPN later that night.
Coming out of the halftime break, El Farolito held a 2-0 lead as both sides were highly technical and played with a lot of possession and attacked the goal strategically. One of the key turning points came in the 54th minute of the match as El Farolito’s Walter Mazzolatti obtained a second yellow card. The double yellow on Mazzolatti left El Farolito with 10 men and would open the door for a comeback by Academica SC.
When it seemed like El Farolito had control of the game, Academica SC came back with a goal in the 72nd minute. Jorge Carmoa crossed the ball into El Farolito’s box which was cleared out back to Carmoa who shot it right past the keeper, through a crowd, which cut the lead in half.
As the end of regulation is nearing, Academica SC had a chance to tie up the match much like they did in their previous qualifying match versus Marathon Taverna.
However, El Farolito held their own and kept Academica SC from scoring, which ended the match with a score of 2-1. El Farolito survives the first knockout round, and head coach Santiago Lopez along with the whole team celebrate and prepare for the next game.
With the win, El Farolito earns their first tournament victory in the Modern Era of the US Open Cup. Their last win in the competition came on July 17, 1993 when they defeated the United German Hungarians (Philadelphia area) 5-0 to win the US Open Cup title at Kuntz Stadium in Indianapolis.