2022 US Open Cup Qualifying: San Fernando Valley FC edge Capistrano to qualify

Posted by | December 22, 2021

Hamid Babaali of San Fernando Valley FC celebrates his goal in a 2-1 win over Capistrano FC in the 2022 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Photo: San Fernando Valley FC

In the “Win & You’re In” round of the Open Division Local Qualifying tournament for the 2022 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, San Fernando Valley FC maintained possession throughout the match to secure a 2-1 victory over Capistrano FC.

With the win, San Fernando Valley qualifies for the US Open Cup for the first time in club history, and becomes the first club from San Fernando Valley to enter the tournament since 1995. That year, the San Fernando Valley Golden Eagles qualified from the USISL Pro League (Div. 3 pro). SFV is the fourth UPSL club to qualify for the 107th edition of the tournament, which begins March 22-23.

(Editor’s Note: If any of our readers know anyone associated with the 1995 San Fernando Valley Golden Eagles, please contact us HERE)

At the start of the match, it was a battle between both teams in a battle for possession. However, Capistrano FC couldn’t hold its shape through the midfield which SFV saw opportunities to take control.

The offensive pressure that SFV had been putting on Capistrano FC finally led to a goal in the 17th minute. Charlie Cazares was first on the board after completing a pass from Miguel Ortiz that was outside of the 8-yard line.

With the score 1-0 so early into the match, Capistrano FC began to increase their intensity to even the game. However, this resulted in several minor fouls being called for both teams. The referee named most of these fouls as a fair play which frustrated both teams and resulted in an increase in the aggression of play.

Hamid Babaali of San Fernando Valley FC celebrates his goal in a 2-1 win over Capistrano FC in the 2022 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Photo: San Fernando Valley FC

Though Capo FC played with more intensity, the duration of the first half continued with a 60-40 possession, with SFV holding most of the control.

While more attempts on goals occurred for SFV and a few for Capistrano, the half ended at 1-0.

With the second half underway, it was evident that Capistrano reviewed its tactics in the first half and made adjustments. The team was no longer leaving its midfield open and moving together offensively which left SFV to fight harder for possession.

The possession between both teams leveled to 50-50 as Capistrano FC created more attempts on goal.

As the match continued, the number of injured players on the pitch for SFV increased but where all fouls were called fair play. The frustration and hostility between both teams finally led to yellow cards.

In the 50th minute, a collision between SFV goalie Bilal Danduli and a Capistrano player ended with Danduli being judged to be at fault and given the first yellow of the match. Just a few minutes later, Capistrano’s Sergio Montes was also given a yellow card.

However, by the 65th minute, a deflection from the Capistrano goalie ended with SFV’s Hadmid Babaali putting a foot on the ball to give his team a 2-0 lead.

The goal didn’t discourage Capistrano FC, instead, they used the score as more motivation to get on the board. Its offensive push was starting to push SFV out of shape and looking for a way to bounce back.

In the 82nd minute, that offensive push would pay off for Capo FC. A deflection off Danduli left a pile of players from both teams in front of the goal to retrieve possession but ended with a header from Capistrano’s Marcos Cervantes.

With less than 10 minutes left of the match, Capistrano FC continued to make attempts to even the score. A final yellow card was given before the end of the match to SFV’s Jeffrey Xochipiltecatl.

A few plays were made after the yellow but ultimately the game ended with SFV coming out victorious, 2-1.

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