By Mahonri Mendoza/NPSL.com
The Denton Diablos suffered a 3-2 defeat against D’Feeters Kicks SC (DKSC) in the First Round of the U.S. Open Cup.
Both sides attempted several times to get on the scoresheet early in the match. It was not until Denton’s Julio Vargas scored off a fantastic cross by Alex Estrada to get the home side up on the score sheet within the first 10 minutes of the match.
Followed by Vargas’ opening goal, Sebastian Mendez leveled the match for DKSC after his left-footed shot saw the back of the net. Following Mendez’s goal, DKSC turned the match around after Miles Byass snuck a shot past the Diablos keeper to make it 2-1 in the 33rd minute.
DKSC could have gone for three goals just minutes after their second goal, but Adrian Renteria was caught offside and denied his team’s third goal of the night. Following DKSC’s disallowed goal, Diablos standout Brandon Cerda equalized the game with a shot from the right side of the box that made its way past the goalkeeper to make it 2-2 with five minutes left in the first half.
When the match seemed to go level at the break, Steven Chavez would hand the lead to DKSC after a fantastic header with seconds left in the first match to make it 3-2 for the visiting side.
The second half was just as entertaining as the first half. Both teams went back and forth, finding that final pass to create some danger that would result in a goal. The Denton Diablos pushed harder after DKSC’s Renteria was shown a red card for kicking the ball to an opponent.
In their efforts to seek an equalizer, after a foul by Estrada, he was also shown a red card forcing both teams to play with 10 players with 20 minutes.
The Diablos had a last-minute gasper that was blocked off by the DKSC defense. Denton failed to get the much-desired equalizing goal that could force the penalty shootout. DKSC claimed the victory after 90 thrilling minutes filled with all sorts of action a soccer game can bring.
“They (DKSC) deserved to win,” said Denton Diablos head coach Ramon Raya. “We made a lot of mistakes. Some players weren’t available to us, and it was noticeable.”
The Diablos begin their NPSL title defense in May and Raya gave his thoughts on the upcoming season.
“Game is over,” said Raya. “We need to think ahead, prepare for what’s next and try to earn the chance for the Diablos to play in the U.S. Open Cup next season. We need to win again.”
Following tonight’s win, DKSC will go on the road to face USL Championship side San Antonio FC on April 5, 2022, at Toyota Field at 7:30 pm CST.