Two minutes. Leo Sosa struck lightning in a bottle in a three-minute span to send FC Wichita into the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup 3-1.
It’s the second Open Cup win in franchise history.
“I just prayed about it,” Sosa said.
Sosa, the club’s captain was unsure if he was going to play due to a hamstring injury but played through it in heroic fashion. He would check out in the second half but played through the hamstring.
Sosa sent a rocket from 40 yards out into the upper corner, putting FC Wichita up 1-0. Then, within minutes Sosa found himself with the ball within the eight-yard box. Sosa did his best replay of Nelson Landaverde’s goal from Saturday night, putting FC Wichita up 2-0 in the 38th minute.
FC Wichita would never look back.
“I wasn’t sure I was going to play,” Sosa said. “I’m glad I played and was able to help us get the win.”
A physical defensive performance, combined with stellar goaltending from Steve Hamersky built the wall the Energy struggled to penetrate all evening. The defense kept Oklahoma City out of the final third for a majority of the match. Every entry pass was kicked out and limited. FC Wichita found themselves really putting a body on every potential striker within the FC Wichita defensive side.
It wasn’t until the 75th minute when Hamersky found himself in a precarious position outside of the box and picking up a yellow card. Oklahoma City’s Josh Garcia scored on the free kick in the 78th minute, bringing the Energy FC within a goal.
“It’s special to do this in Wichita,” Sosa said. “I want to be here until I’m doing playing. This is a special city.”
Shortly after the officials added five minutes of extra time, Ben Andoh scored his first career US Open Cup, sealing the victory over Energy FC U23.
“We’re not just one player,” Sosa said. “We’re an entire team. Anyone one can step up when needed.”
With the victory, FC Wichita will travel to Oklahoma to play the Tulsa Roughnecks FC in the second round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. FC Wichita looks to become the first NPSL club to advance to the third round since Chattanooga FC in 2016. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16. Tulsa will have your game stream.
Man of the Match
The captain struck gold within a matter of minutes. Both goals put the Energy FC U23 on their heels and never looked back. Sosa, playing through injury really showed why he wears the armband. His goal in the 36th minute may be the goal of the Cup already.
— Taylor Eldridge (@tayloreldridge) May 10, 2018
By the Numbers
FC Wichita gave up only one corner kick in the second half. Despite Oklahoma City pressing in the final 25 minutes of the game, FC Wichita did a great job of pushing out and limiting opportunities in the box and limiting corner kicks.
The number of wins by FC Wichita in the US Open Cup. Last season, FC Wichita beat Azteca FC in extra time, in a torrential downpour. This season, FC Wichita handled Energy FC U23.
Sosa now has three career Open Cup goals. He scored on a penalty kick in the loss to Saint Louis FC last season for his first goal.