The L.A. Blues dodged an early red card with the aid of a newcomer. The Ventura County Fusion overcame an early deficit and weathered several crises.
Both survived first-round encounters Tuesday night in the U.S. Open Cup to set up a showdown next week at Ventura College.
The Blues, down to nine men by the finish, held on to beat Hollywood United FC, 3-1, as Iranian wing-back Mehrshad Momeni scored goals each side of halftime at Riverside Community College's campus in Norco. The Fusion got goals from UCLA's Andy Rose, Mark Magee and UCLA's Reed Williams to overcome West-side amateurs Doxa Italia, 3-1, in Ventura.
The winner in next Tuesday's game will take on a Major League Soccer club -- almost certainly the Galaxy -- in a third-round clash June 28. The U.S. Open Cup is America's oldest and most prestigious cup competition, contested since 1914.
A quick look at the first round:
BLUES JOIN PRO MARCH: The Blues were among 10 teams from the third-tier USL Pro to advance, opening a two-goal lead after Leonard Griffin was sent off in the 19th minute and netting a third after Josh Tudela saw red in the 89th.
Momeni, who signed with the Blues before the season began but didn't arrive until recent weeks, scored in the 37th and 55th minutes. Carlos Morales halved the deficit in the 67th for HUFC -- he was red-carded in the 86th -- and Gerardo Bravo scored the finale for the Blues.
The only USL Pro team to fail to advance were the Dayton Dutch Lions, who lost to another USL Pro side.
FOG FUELS FUSION: Ventura County found itself behind at the start thanks to an old hand, but Jacob Hustedt drew a penalty kick for one goal and assisted a second as the Fusion pulled out a thriller in thick fog that hampered visibility.
Bryan Byrne, a former MLS midfielder who played for the Fusion when they won the Premier Development League title in 2009, gave Doxa Italia a fifth-minute lead, but Rose converted a spot kick in the 33rd, Magee fired V.C. ahead just before halftime, and Williams tallied in the 78th.
Doxa, among seven of the eight entrants from the U.S. Amateur Soccer Association to lose in the first round, applied heavy pressure in the second half, taking 11 shots and hitting the crossbar and post.
A full scorelist and second-round schedule follows.
(Home teams listed first)
Tuesday, June 14
L.A. Blues (USL Pro) 3 (Momeni 37, 55, G. Bravo 90), Hollywood United FC (NPSL) 1 (Morales 67)
Ventura County Fusion (PDL) 3 (Rose pen. 33, Magee 43, Williams 78), Doxa Italia (USASA-Cal South) 1 (Byrne 5)
Real Colorado Foxes 5 (Kemp 33, Schafer 37, Christensen 42, Copeland 47, Thompson 87), DV8 Defenders (USASA-Cal North) 0
Chivas El Paso Patriots (PDL) 0, Kitsap Pumas (PDL) 0, OT (Kitsap advances on penalties, 6-5)
Orlando City FC (USL Pro) 4 (Jorsling 28, 77, Molino 42, Chin 60), ASC New Stars (USASA-South Texas) 0
Charleston Battery (USL Pro) 2 (Patterson pen. 48, Kelly 76), Regals FC (USASA-South Texas) 0
Madison 56ers (NPSL) 4 (Rampa 67, Hohlbein 72, 76, Lysak 81), AAC Eagles (USASA-Illinois) 0
Iowa Menace (USASA-Iowa) 0, Chicago Fire Premier (PDL) 1 (Estridge 87)
New York Pancyprian Freedoms (USASA-Eastern New York) 2 (Dimitrov 66, Andreou 81), Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) 1 (Samuel 80)
FC New York (USL Pro) 3 (Arteaga NA, NA, NA), Western Mass Pioneers (PDL) 0
Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro) 2 (Noone 86, Touray 90), Reading United AC (PDL) 1 (Rodriguez 35)
Rochester Rhinos (USL Pro) 2 (Banks 27, Hamilton 55), Phoenix SC (USASA-Eastern Pennsylvania) 1 (Rowling 71)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL Pro) 2 (Yeisley NA, Lundberg NA, Deighton 99), Chattanooga FC (NPSL) 2 (Heredia 14, Beattie 55), OT
Richmond Kickers (USL Pro) 4 (Bulow 7, 17, pen. 65, Bangula 90), Dayton Dutch Lions (USL Pro) 1 (van de Pluijm 59)
Carolina Dynamo (PDL) 1 (Lovejoy 39), Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro) 3 (Toby 23, Martins 49, Sanchez 85)
Central Florida Kraze (PDL) 0, Wilmington Hammerheads (USL Pro) 4 (Noviello 33, Mulholland 42, Budnyy 70, 73)
(All times Pacific)
Tuesday, June 21
Ventura County Fusion (PDL) vs. L.A. Blues (USL Pro) at Ventura College, 7:05 p.m.
Real Colorado Foxes (PDL) at Kitsap Pumas (PDL), 7 p.m.
Orlando City FC (USL Pro) at Charleston Battery (USL Pro), 4:30 p.m.
Chicago Fire Premier (PDL) at Madison 56ers (NPSL), 5 p.m.
FC New York (USL Pro) at New York Pancyprian Freedoms (USASA), 4:30 p.m.
Rochester Rhinos (USL Pro) at Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro), 4 p.m.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL Pro) at Richmond Kickers (USL Pro), 4 p.m.
Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro) at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL Pro), 4 p.m.