Recap: Santa Ana Winds vs. Buena Park FC
The third round of U.S. Open Cup qualifying in Southern California kicked off on Saturday with two teams from separate leagues facing off. Santa Ana Winds FC of the UPSL hosted Buena Park FC of the SoCal Premier League. This match would go 120 minutes with the Winds picking up a huge 3-2 victory.
The match was an organized BPFC defense versus a quick and possessive Santa Ana Winds FC offense. The first half ended 1-1 with the defensive BPFC looking like the better side. Its midfield five was impenetrable and if the Winds did manage to break through the midfield line, they were met by an aggressive back line.
The first goal came in the thirteenth minute after an overly aggressive Winds defender mistimed a bouncing header and a BPFC attacker broke past the line to win a one-on-one battle against the Santa Ana keeper. Santa Ana got one back in the 31st minute after a cross from the left wing hit a BPFC defender and fell into the back of the net for an own goal.
At the end of the first half a Winds defender elbowed a Buena Park attacker while shielding the ball. He received a red card and it looked like the game in the second half would shift in favor of BPFC. That didn't happen, and even being down a man Santa Ana dominated possession and chances on goal. Buena Park did not change its game plan and allowed the Winds to move the ball all around the pitch causing a multitude of chances. The BPFC back line stayed resolute and did not give up a goal, sending the match into extra time.
Extra time started off with a bang after BPFC turned the ball over in its own half. A Winds attacker shot a nice ball from outside the box and sunk it in the back of the net. If there ever was a time for Buena Park to kick it up a notch, this was it, yet it continued to hold defensively and allowed Santa Ana all the time on the ball. The Winds weren't done either. Entering the 107th minute and after a solid string of passes, Santa Ana found itself in shooting range once more and bagged its third goal. BPFC was able to get another goal added to its total, but it wouldn't be enough to overcome the furious Winds side.
- Steven Ramirez