“The opposing team were getting abusive physically and verbally with , so they left for their safety,” said D’Feeters head coach Edgar Hernandez. He added that the center official “wasn’t even calling the game poorly” in his opinion.
As for the game itself, D’Feeters Kicks took control with forward Sebastian Mendez registering multiple shots on goal in the first seven minutes, but neither chance really threatened the keeper.
D10 responded with their best chance of the half in the 15th minute. A long throw-in managed to reach the six yard box but the subsequent header failed to find the back of the net. Mendez continued to test the Lions’ backline and hammered a well struck free kick that was ultimately secured by D10 goalkeeper Jorgely Rodriguez.
The frustration first set in for the visitors in the 23rd minute when Guity was issued his first yellow card. It ultimately turned out to be the first of five issued to D10 Lions in the first half, including the first yellow for the aforementioned coach for dissent.
Finally, the breakthrough for D’Feeters – and Mendez – came with the forward crushing a shot from 18 yards after a quick restart from a free kick; Rodriguez could not even react in time to muster a save attempt. The home side took the 1-0 advantage with them into the break.
It looked, for a moment, like the Lions might regain control of the match early in the second half. Orellana was brought on as a sub coming out of the halftime break and immediately forced a save from D’Feeters keeper Anthony Rodriguez that resulted in a corner. But the Lions could not capitalize and the visitors seemed to pass the point of no return once Cabo-Verdiana was sent off moments later.
Right before the chaos began, D’Feeters doubled their lead. D’Feeters were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box after the Lions keeper was judged by the assistant to have handled it outside the box. Mendez took the free kick right away and he found Oscar Ocampo completely unmarked in front of goal and he beat the keeper to make it 2-0.
D10 Lions team captain David Perez was critical of the officials for the fallout. Accusing the center referee of favoring the D’Feeters and initiating the physical confrontation at the end.
He tells TheCup.us that at the time of publication that the team was exploring their options about possibly protesting the outcome with the federation.
For his part, D’Feeters coach Edgar Hernandez praised his side after the game for their composure.
“Our guys kind of played our game. We stayed relaxed. We didn’t fall into any of the, I guess, frustrations of the other team … at the end of the day, what matters is the result and getting to the next round.”
The match is likely to be reviewed by US Soccer’s Disciplinary Panel, but as things stand D’Feeters will advance in qualifying. In addition to seeking their second consecutive (and second overall) Open Cup qualification, D’Feeters are also preparing for an upcoming playoff match in National Premier Soccer League play.