In a hard-fought game ending in a tie after regulation and overtime, The San Diego Boca FC pulled out a 4-2 win in penalty kicks against Phoenix Monsoon, in a first round match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competition.
The match saw Phoenix jump out to an early 2-0 lead when they cashed in on opportunities. Lead by The Monsoon’s Pat Perkins with his two historic franchise goals in The Monsoon semi-pro National Premier Soccer League club history.
Monsoon extended their lead to 3-0 shortly before the end of the half with a goal by Monsoon forward Robert De Lima seen as a fan favorite in the Phoenix Latino soccer community.
While The Monsoons are in their first full season in the NPSL (National Premier Soccer League), the team consists of local professional soccer stars. The team coaching staff has actively recruited the best and the brightest talent from former local collegiate soccer community in the valley.
The team has recruited players like Alex Dom, The Monsoon Captain, who has played at both the collegiate level and also several years at the semi-pro level. Likewise, Matt Marcum, a Monsoon veteran recruited from Scottsdale Community College. Both played with the Monsoon 2011 indoor squad.
The second half opened much as the first half with Phoenix on the attack, sending a Monsoon of red-clad shirt players down the field determined to apply continued pressure against the Boca FC players.
“To everyone’s surprise, two penalties kicks were awarded to Boca FC by the official,” said head coach Daniel Ochoa, “This dramatically changed the momentum of the game, “ said Monsoon coach Daniel Ochoa.
“With only two months of training, the team demonstrated a winning professional ‘true grit’ type of attitude – an essential ingredient needed to compete in the up coming season in the NPSL,” stated Coach Ochoa.
With about 20 minutes left in the 2nd Half, Boca FC scored twice, which made the match a 3-2 game. With just a few minutes left in the game, Boca FC fired a shot past Monsoon goalkeeper Ivan Dizdar – a former pro Croatia soccer player – with Boca fans erupting in cheers with the score evened at 3 all.
Both teams pressed to close out the match in regulation as the whistle blew, closing out the first chapter of The Monsoon’s semi-pro soccer history with the game moving into overtime.
Boca FC took the early lead in the first period of extra time by scoring an early goal that put Boca FC up 4-3.
With just minutes left in the second period of overtime, The Monsoon stormed back with a well-designed goal on a set play by The Monsoon Captain Alex Dom off a corner kick which beat The Boca FC goalkeeper, to tie the game at 4-4 sending the contest into penalty kicks (PK).
Then Boca FC scored the first PK and sent Boca FC up 1-0. Phoenix then missed an opportunity in their first PK as Boca FC Goalkeeper guessed the wrong direction as the shot went high over the crossbar to leave The Monsoon down by one.
The two teams then exchanged goals, to put the PK tally at 3-2 Boca FC. When Boca FC scored on their fourth straight try, all Boca FC goalkeeper needed to do was block the next shot for the win.
As Phoenix lined up for the next shot the tension in the stadium was palpable. Guessing correctly, Boca FC’s Goalkeeper dove to his right and blocked the shot as the Boca fans erupted in cheers sending Boca FC into the next round of the Lamar Hunt Open Cup with a 4-2 win.