skip navigation

U.S. Open Cup Roundup – Las Vegas advances after Alba’s extra time strike against Spokane

By Staff, 04/18/24, 2:04AM EDT


First-half goals see Tulsa hold off NoCo Hailstorm, Ayon bags brace for Monterey Bay in winning debut

Las Vegas Lights FC's Riki Alba shoots home in extra time to send his side past USL League One side Spokane Velocity FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. | Photo courtesy Lucas Peltier / Las Vegas Lights FC

LAS VEGAS – Dominican Republic international Riki Alba scored an extra time winner as Las Vegas Lights FC rebounded after conceding late in regulation to take a 2-1 victory against USL League One club Spokane Velocity FC at Cashman Field in the Third Round of the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night.

After a quiet first half that saw neither side register a shot on target, the Lights broke out six minutes after the break as Valentin Noël scored his third goal of the season across all competitions. The French midfielder received a pass from Solomon Asante in the left side of the penalty area and first home a first-time shot into the bottom-right corner of the net.

That appeared to be enough for Las Vegas as Spokane was reduced to 10 players in second-half stoppage time when Derek Waldeck was sent off for his second yellow card of the night, but in the sixth minute of stoppage time a long-range strike by Jamaican midfielder Andre Lewis proved too hot to handle for Las Vegas goalkeeper Raiko Arozarena to level the game.

With a player advantage, Las Vegas pressed forward in attack again and after a scoreless first period, Alba delivered with eight minutes to go. After an initial shot by teammate Khori Bennett was blocked in the center of the penalty area, the ball caromed to Alba eight yards from goal, and he brought the ball down smartly before shooting low into the bottom-left corner to earn Las Vegas its first trip to the Open Cup’s Fourth Round in club history.

FC TULSA 2, NORTHERN COLORADO FC 1: A pair of first-half goals by Diogo Pacheco and Milo Yosef sent FC Tulsa into the Round of 32 of the Open Cup for the first time since 2017 as the hosts defeated Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC at the University of Tulsa Soccer Stadium.

After a cautious start to the contest in which neither side registered a shot in the opening half-hour, Tulsa took the lead six minutes before halftime as Blaine Ferri was brought down in the penalty area by the Hailstorm’s Noah Powder. Pacheco stepped up to the spot and converted for his first goal for his new club with a shot to the bottom-right corner that just eluded NoCo goalkeeper Lalo Delgado.

Yosef then doubled the lead in the final minute of the half as he controlled a half-cleared free kick 25 yards from goal and rifled a shot back into the left corner of the net. The Hailstorm tried to fight back in the second half and moments after coming on as a substitute Isidro Martinez scored for the visitors to cut their deficit in half, but Tulsa goalkeeper Michael Creek and his defense held firm to see out the victory.

MONTEREY BAY F.C. 2, IRVINE ZETA FC 1: Recent Monterey Bay F.C. signing Jerry Ayon made a dream debut for his new club as he scored a pair of excellent goals to eliminate Irvine Zeta FC of the National Independent Soccer Association at Cardinale Stadium.

The 22-year-old native of Salinas, Calif. broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute as he received possession after Rafael Baca in midfield and quickly passed forward to Luther Archimede. The Guadeloupe international lifted a clever pass over the Irvine back line for Baca, whose first-time cross from the left side of the penalty area was headed home by Ayon to complete a tremendous move.

Monterey Bay almost doubled its lead in first-half stoppage-time as Alex Lara’s header from a corner kick was cleared off the line. Zeta hit back with a good fiJonish of its own just past the hour-mark, however, when George Almeida stretched to turn in Edson Alvarado’s cross from the left at close range. Ayon quickly hit back for the hosts to settle the contest as three minutes later he broke forward onto a pass by Jesus Enriquez 40 yards from goal on the left and with defenders in pursuit continued to drive forward before shooting into the bottom-right corner from just inside the penalty area.  

MEMPHIS 901 FC 2, MIAMI UNITED FC 0: A pair of goals by United States U-19 international Nighte Pickering led Memphis 901 FC past amateur qualifiers Miami United FC and into to the U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 at AutoZone Park.

Pickering gave Memphis the lead 11 minutes before the halftime break as he broke in behind the Miami defensive line onto a pass forward by Emerson Hyndman, leaving him with only the goalkeeper to beat. The Texas native settled and finished calmly into the left side of the net.

The 19-year-old then added an insurance marker with five minutes to go as he tucked home a low cross by Dylan Borczak from the right side at close range. Pickering has now scored three goals in just three U.S. Open Cup appearances, having delivered the deciding goal in Memphis’ Open Cup victory against Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United FC a season ago.

UNION OMAHA 0 (5), EL PASO LOCOMOTIVE FC 0 (3): El Paso Locomotive FC saw Amando Moreno miss a penalty kick in the first half before Gonzalo Pelúa was denied in a penalty shootout as Union Omaha of USL League One eliminated the Championship side for a second consecutive tournament.

Omaha began the game on the front foot but was unable to find a breakthrough against a resolute El Paso defense. The visitors then got a break when Union’s Nortei Nortey was whistled for a handball on a free kick by Joaquin Rivas, resulting in a penalty kick in the first minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half, Moreno stepped up but skied his shot over the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.

Los Buhos had a comfortable advantage in shots overall, outshooting El Paso 32-12, but were only able to put six shots on target overall which were all handled by Ramon Pasquel in the Locomotive net. The visitors were reduced to 10 players late in the second half when Noah Dollenmeyer was sent off for a hard foul, but despite that held firm in extra time to force a shootout.

After each side converted to open the first two rounds, however, El Paso’s Pelúa was denied by Omaha goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu in the third round, giving the hosts the edge. While Justin Dhillon kept the side alive by converting in the fourth round, Omaha cliched victory as 17-year-old Mark Bronnik converted to the bottom-left corner to keep El Paso winless in the Open Cup in its history.

Follow the USL Championship

Most Recent News

Most Read News

Latest Videos