FC Wichita moves on to second round of U.S. Open Cup

FC Wichita opened their 2017 season by scraping out a 1-0 win over Azteca FC in a long, wet match-up late Wednesday night. Forecasted showers moved in shortly after kick-off, eventually causing a 45-minute lightning delay followed by 30 minutes of extra time.

The game started out slow and methodical for Wichita as they dominated possession in the early going, but the action would finally commence in the 12th minute when Azteca FC’s Christian Moran was shown a straight red card for a brutal two-footed, studs-up tackle on Deri Corfe from the ground. Azteca would have to play a man down for the remainder of the match.

With no significant chances in the first half for either side, Wichita made two changes at the break. Chris Lemons came on for Kevin Ten Eyck to reinforce the back line, and Giovanni Vallejo replaced Luca Anelli up front. The first real scoring chance in the game came for Azteca FC in a 1v1 situation with keeper Mark Weir, who came up big for Wichita with the save. The home side continued to dominate possession and a couple shots by Deri Corfe looked threatening, but ended up being deflected out for a corner or missing the net by a slim margin. In the 73rd minute, Diego Serfaty came on for Felipe Noveli on the left wing for Wichita. Towards the end of the 2nd half, Azteca nearly went ahead off a 1v1 opportunity when the Azteca player beat Weir, but his shot rang off the crossbar keeping the score 0-0.

Weather would be creeping up on the game, and in the 81st minute, there would be a 45 minute lightning delay issued. The players returned to the pitch after the all-clear, but neither team could put the contest to bed in the remaining 9 minutes, and extra time would commence.

In the 104th minute, the ball found Deri Corfe in the midst of three defenders, and he promptly launched a shot that deflected off an Azteca defender straight onto the foot of Travis Pittman who buried the shot into the back netting, finally giving Wichita the go-ahead, and eventually cementing the win.

Shortly after the goal, FC Wichita produced an excellent counter that led to an Azteca defender pulling down Matt Clare with path and scoring opportunity, which led to the Jorge Velasquez’s second yellow on the night leaving Azteca down to 9 men.

As the final whistle sounded, the Reds rejoiced, as they earned their first U.S. Open Cup win in Wichita soccer history and move on to host St. Louis FC of the USL (2nd Division) next week.