VENTURA, Calif. – Cesar Romero scored as Chivas USA advanced to the fourth round of the US Open Cup by defeating PDL side Ventura County Fusion, 1-0 at Ventura College on Tuesday evening.
With the victory, the Rojiblancos will now face the NASL’s Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., on Tuesday, June 5. The win over the Fusion was just the second time Chivas had won their opener in the tournament – the first in 2010 when they advanced to the semifinal round.
Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser opted for a lineup that included many first-choice players, including forwards Juan Pablo Ángel and Juan Agudelo, who started up top for the Rojiblancos.
This decision to go with a strong lineup paid off in the 13th minute when an Agudelo through-ball found Romero alone on the right side of the field. With plenty of space, Romero then nutmegged Fusion goalkeeper Earl Edwards for the game’s first goal. The strike was Romero’s first goal for the Goats.
After the goal, the Fusion ramped up the pressure and nearly equalized in 20th minute when John Alexander Valencia slipped allowing Travis Bowen – the older Chivas’ Tristan Bowen – to break away on goal forcing a save from Chivas backup goalkeeper Tim Melia. Bowen almost leveled again, when off a corner kick, the forward fired a side volley that sailed just over the Chivas net.
The Fusion continued the pressure in the second half forcing Melia into action several times. The last great chance for the PDL side came in the 71st minute when Francisco Lopez broke through the Rojiblancos back four causing Melia to make a save, which kept Chivas ahead for good.
CHV – Cesar Romero (Juan Agudelo) 13
CHV – Scott Gordon (caution) 45+
VCF – Michael Daly (caution) 60
VCF – Kennedy Chongo (caution) 64
CHV – Juan Pablo Ángel (caution) 70
VCF – Victor Chavez (caution) 89
Chivas USA – Timothy Melia; Jorge Villafaña, John Valencia (Danny Califf 83), Rauwshan McKenzie, Scott Gordon; Ryan Smith (Laurent Courtois 46), Blair Gavin, Peter Vagenas, Cesar Romero (Moreno 46); Juan Agudelo, Juan Pablo Ángel
Subs not used: James Riley, Casey Townsend, Patrick McLain, Jose Erik Correa
Ventura County Fusion – Earl Edwards; Willie Rupert, Tim Pontius, Michael Daly, Peter McGlynn (Matt Wiet 81), Daniel Steres, Kennedy Chongo, Michael Roman (Gabe Gonzales 65), Rodrigo Lopez, Travis Bowen, Francisco Lopez (Victor Chavez 88)
Subs not used: Armando Guerrero, Kory Kindle, Eric Shannon, Chris Tsonis.
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.