Players from the Laredo Heat and Brazos Valley Cavalry battle for the ball in the First Round of the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Laredo Heat
In a physical game at Texas A&M International University, the Laredo Heat defeated Brazos Valley Cavalry 1-0 on a second half penalty kick by Francois Sakou. Both sides would finish the match with 10 men but the Cavalry would be unable to find an equalizer. With the win, Laredo advances to take on San Antonio FC (USL Championship) in the Second Round next week.
For most of the first half, Laredo had the majority of chances, coming close early on in the 6th minute, but just couldn’t keep any shots on target. Laredo would outshoot Brazos Valley 11-1 in the first half.
The second half started with most of the same from Laredo, getting more chances but still not many shots being on target.
In the 58th minute, Laredo was awarded a penalty kick after a scramble in the box from a corner kick. Ivan Leon of Brazos Valley clipped Abraham Contreras during the struggle and was given a card for the challenge. Sakou stepped up in the 60th minute putting the penalty to the bottom left corner past Andy Rios.
Brazos Valley would dig themselves a deeper hole just six minutes later when Leon would get his second yellow card for a professional foul stopping a Laredo counter in the 66th minute.
However, that advantage would only last 10 minutes for Laredo before they also had a man sent off in the 76th minute. Luis Hincapie would launch himself for a studs up late challenge on the far touchline at midfield. That would result in his second yellow card of the match sending him to the locker room early.
Late in the match, Brazos Valley would have some chances to equalize but it would not come. Laredo held on that 1-0 win.
Laredo, who is participating in the tournament for the first time since 2015, advances beyond the team’s opening round game for the fifth consecutive tournament. Only Reading United AC (7) and the Michigan Bucks (6) have longer streaks among all Open Division teams in the Modern Era (1995-present)