Press Release (ePRNews.com) - AZUSA, Calif. - May 18, 2017 - L.A. Wolves FC was in need of a break-through moment, and it took until the 111th minute.
Battling to find a finish to a scoreless game, L.A. Wolves FC midfielder Pablo Cruz earned a penalty and Paolo Cardozo converted as Wolves FC defeated Chula Vista FC, 1-0, in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Second Round game on Wednesday night, May 17, 2017, at Cougar Soccer Complex on the campus of Azusa Pacific University.
L.A. Wolves FC Head Coach Eric Wynalda said, “All in all it was a very good game. We had to make some adjustments and we were lucky to win tonight. I thought Chula Vista FC is a great team. They represented themselves really well. Playing Orange County SC next is going to be a great challenge and a real battle.”
The victory advances L.A. Wolves in the U.S. Open Cup, where it plays Orange County SC (USL) in a Third Round game at Azusa Pacific University’s Cougar Soccer Complex (701 E. Foothill Blvd., Azusa, CA 91702) at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31.
L.A. Wolves FC President Yan Skwara said, “We are all very pleased with the win. Both teams fought hard and hats off to Chula Vista FC as the came in with a game plan and made it hard for us to break through and get that first goal. At the end of the night, the boys found a way and got the job done in OT, so it’s on to the next round. We face Orange County SC, who played last year in the U.S. Open Cup as OC Blues, so we know we have a hard match ahead of us and we will prepare accordingly. Our players and coaches look forward to the challenge.”
L.A. Wolves FC pushed Chula Vista FC into a defense shell within the first 15 minutes, peppering Chula Vista goalkeeper Sebastian Ortiz with five shots in the first 15 minutes.
Wolves FC came closest to scoring in the 11th minute, but Miguel Sanchez’s shot was cleared mid-air off the line by a Chula Vista defender just moments after Ortiz pushed aside a shot from Gonzalo Salguero.
The Wolves’ offensive assault continued into the second half but Chula Vista grew more comfortable in defense, with Ortiz stopping a point-blank range effort from Chuck Pitts in the 52nd minute, and easily grabbing a laser-like shot from Cruz in the 69th.
Wolves outnumbered Chula Vista in shots on goal, 9-0, over 90 scoreless minutes.
Led by talented midfielder Alberto Diaz, Chula Vista made a few late forays into attacking positions and produced its first shot on goal – easily saved by Wolves FC keeper Lucas Nascimento – in the first overtime.
“The good news is we didn’t get scored on,” Wynalda said. “(Nascimento) made a couple of good saves that kept us in the game, but we should’ve done better with our chances.”
Cruz, who came in the game as a substitute at the start of the second half, drove the ball deep into Chula Vista’s penalty area before turning the ball upon the touchline and getting fouled by a defender.
The referee pointed to the penalty spot, awarded a penalty to Wolves FC, and Cardozo calmly struck the ball into the netting even though Ortiz got his fingertips on the ball.
The goal, in the 111th minute, proved decisive as the home team played out the final minutes until the whistle.
“Again, Pablo Cruz comes in the game and wins it for us. It was that way last week and it’s the same thing this week,” said Wynalda, who brought Cruz in at halftime of Wolves’ 4-2 U.S. Open Cup first-round victory on May 10 to similar effect.
The club’s next United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) Pro Premier Division Western Conference game will be announced.
L.A. Wolves FC
L.A. Wolves FC are an American Soccer club based in Los Angeles, California. We are named after the Los Angeles Wolves (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_Wolves), who played in the United Soccer Association (https:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Soccer_Association) in 1967 and the North American Soccer League in 1968.
L.A. Wolves FC are a charter member for the UPSL (United Premier Soccer League) and compete in the Pro Premier Division Western Conference. The club also manages a reserve squad and oversees L.A. Wolves FC Youth Soccer Program and an L.A. Wolves Women’s squad.
In addition, L.A. Wolves FC participates in the qualifying round for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation and membership with the UPSL, the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).
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