In a thrilling Round 4 of the US Open Cup qualifier, Capistrano FC defeated Orange County FC 3-2 on penalties.
“I believed it to be wide open, yet it moves back and forth. Both of them and us had significant moments, but it seemed like the side with the fewest errors would emerge victorious. The head coach of Capo FC, Peter Carey, described it as just one of those games where you hold your breath.
It was clear that both sides were driven to take the lead as the first half got started. Both sides were battling for control as the clock was running out. Although they had more possession for the opening 25 minutes, OC FC had a number of near opportunities to score but was unable to do so.
As the game progressed, each side had equal opportunities to make attacking moves, but they all ended with saves or losing the ball. Any error may have given the advantage to either team, but defensively, both teams were striving to keep the score tied.
The excitement of the game increased with each close opportunity for either OC FC or Capo FC to miss. Minor fouls were committed, but Capo FC’s Brayan Herrera wouldn’t receive a warning until the 29th minute.
Marcos Cervantes of Capo FC would receive a second yellow card in the 37th minute.
For three minutes, OC FC recovered control in front of Capo FC’s goal, but they were unable to score because Nathan King, the goaltender for Capo FC, stopped their aggressive drive with back-to-back saves.
The score would stay 0-0 as the half came to a close, and Oliver Caprine of Capo’s FC would receive his final caution of the half in the 44th minute.
The second half was quite similar to the first. The two sides continued to share the ball with regularity; the only discernible difference was the aggression and ferocity with which the Capo players had begun the half.
“We had plenty to complete it. And after that, we felt as though we needed a little bit more. So, as you can see, we put a lot of effort into the golden calm, but we were also successful in preventing them from scoring,” Carey added.
Players’ tempers progressively started to fray, and minor fouls started to happen more frequently. As a result, Cody Shelton of OC FC received the game’s first and only yellow card.
As the normal session came to a close, neither team would score, sending the game into overtime.
The competition between the teams to score goals and earn their place in the US Open Cup is now at an all-time high.
That was still a difficult task, though, since the battle for control persisted throughout the game. There were no goals throughout the first 15 minutes of overtime. The only time OC FC would have the opportunity to alter the result was in the second extra period.
On a run, an OC FC player was fouled in the goaltender box in the 115th minute. A penalty kick was promptly given, giving the team the chance to score what may have been the game-winning goal. The penalty call was reversed, though, a minute earlier when the sideline official flagged the OC FC player who made the original run for offside.
The teams now faced a penalty shootout after the overtime period ended without a score. The first two OC FC and Capo FC players to take a shot made it. With the score still being 2-2, both sides’ third players had their shots blocked by the goaltender.
The tension hung over the players and the spectators as only two players remained for both sides. Hevany Ramos of Capo FC would score, finally scoring the game-winning goal. Missing the last three penalty shots would prevent OC FC from participating in the US Open Cup.
“We’ve made it possible for guys to perform at a high level and keep pursuing their dreams,” The Group is experiencing nothing but success. We’re a close-knit group. The group of guys is close-knit because we all hail from a small town. It’s amazing because all the effort and dedication these guys put out is paying off. said Carey. “Right now, we’re enjoying the trip. We’re going to keep advancing.