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Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Gameday Reports - April 5

By Staff, 04/06/22, 1:00PM EDT


Central Valley Fuego FC put on a show in U.S. Open Cup debut

The Second Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup began on Tuesday evening with a trio of League One clubs in action. Union Omaha were able to outlast the visiting Des Moines Menace, and Central Valley Fuego FC stunned El Paso Locomotive FC with an unbelievable four-goal outing in Clovis, Calif.


A back-and-forth affair at American Legion Memorial Stadium did not favor the home side in the Independence's first competitive match of the 2022 season. One of many new South American talents, Charlotte's Venezuelan midfielder, Ayrton Páez, had a strong performance in his debut, assisting Shalom Dutey's opener in the 14th minute before slotting home his own score in the 41st minute. An even match shifted the way of the visitors following the ejection of Tresor Mbuyu in the 76th minute. The Fusion capitalized on their one-man advantage, knocking in a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the match to confirm their victory.

Scoring Summary
CLT – Dutey (Páez) 14'
NCF – Neto 37'
CLT – Páez (Luquetta) 41'
NCF – Silva (DiLuzio) 51'
NCF – Marriott 88'
NCF – Lorentz (Cascon) 90+5'

Full Box Score


In the first competitive matchup between reigning League One and League Two champions, a revamped Union Omaha side came out on top in its first competitive match of the season. Des Moines found the opener early, as former MLS forward Corey Hertzog snuck a ball just beyond the goal line in the 14th minute. Union Omaha responded nearly instantly, as John Scearce headed in a corner kick in the 19th minute. From then on out, Omaha dominated the match; outshooting its opponent by 19 and accumulating nine corner kicks throughout the evening. The breakthrough finally came in the final 10 minutes of the match as Conor Doyle placed a dangerous ball in the box that forced a Menace defender to inadvertently head the ball into his own net.

Scoring Summary
DMM – Hertzog 14'
OMA – Scearce 19'
OMA – Own Goal 81'

Full Box Score


The most exciting match of the U.S. Open Cup thus far was played in Clovis, Calif. on Tuesday evening. Fuego FC wasted no time in putting on a show for its home crowd for the first time, as Villyan Bijev took the ball on the far side and chipped the El Paso goalkeeper from well beyond the edge of the penalty area less than four minutes into the match. Ten minutes later, Fuego FC tacked on another long-distance strike as Nathan Smith unleashed an incredible strike to stun Locomotive FC as well as the Fuego FC faithful at Lamonica Stadium.

The remarkable Open Cup debut for Central Valley continued with Bijev completing his brace, weaving his way through the El Paso defense, and sending in a ball across the goal, just within the far post. Finally, Week 1 League One Team of the Week selection Christian Chaney added a headed score in the 62nd minute to completely seal the match. Despite a late El Paso consolation goal, Fuego FC's second-ever match and first-ever U.S. Open Cup match was confirmed as a complete thumping of USL Championship opposition.

Scoring Summary
CV – Bijev (Smith) 4'
CV – Smith 15'
CV – Bijev (Ramos) 44'
CV – Chaney (Bijev) 62'
ELP – Calvillo (Borelli) 90'

Full Box Score

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