Five goals and three red cards ensured that a cold night in Denton gave way to a heated atmosphere as NPSL national champions Denton Diablos fell to local qualifier, D’Feeters Kicks SC.
After initially qualifying for the cancelled 2020 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, a sense of the hosts finally getting their day in the cup was buoyed on as Julio Vargas met Alex Estrada’s cross to give Denton a 10th minute lead.
DKSC soon turned the score around after Sebastian Mendez stole the ball away in the Denton back line to level things before reigning UPSL Championship MVP Miles Byass slid home a Luis Hernandez cross to give the Dallas side the advantage in the 35th minute. Adrian Renteria looked to have extended the lead moments later but for an offside call against Byass, who didn’t appear to be involved in the passage of play.
Brandon Cerda brought things level once more, taking advantage of a heavy defensive touch but Steven Chavez restored the lead on the stroke of half time, turning home an Renteria cross off the front post.
DKSC may be new to the Open Cup and the UPSL Premier Division, but are familiar with Denton having played under their current guise and as Harrington FC in the local Roja League competitions. The game had threatened to get chippy, and the second half did not disappoint.
Despite trailing, the Diablos had a man advantage early in the second half after Renteria kicked a ball at Antonio Perez as the Denton sub stayed on the ground after being fouled in the 53rd minute. The referee initially showed the card to DKSC’s Miguel Ojeda before one of the assistants corrected the mistaken identity.
With 20 minutes to go, the hosts lost that advantage as Alex Estrada saw red for a stamp on Angel Ramirez.
The game’s excitement ground to a halt until stoppage time. Denton’s Julian Barajas produced a beautiful piece of play, popping the ball over a defender before running on to the ball and smashing a shot that was narrowly tipped away for a corner. The resulting set piece was then headed and blocked on the line by an arm.
As D’Feeters Kicks broke down field, an incensed Diablos team chased down the opposition with captain Carlos Flores conceding a free kick. His remonstrations at the potential penalty decision saw a yellow and then a red card waved in his direction as DKSC held out for a second round fixture with San Antonio FC on April 5.