Jose Cuevas delivered another two-goal night to lead the Fresno Fuego to a 4-1 victory against La Maquina FC in an Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match Wednesday night at Chukchansi Park.
With the win, the Fuego will host USL side Phoenix Rising FC on Wednesday, May 17, at the Fresno State Soccer Field (Chukchansi Park will be occupied by Fresno Grizzlies baseball on that day).
Phoenix Rising features former international star players Omar Bravo (Mexico), Shawn Wright-Phillips (England) and Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast). Drogba is one of the owners of the club, which has aspirations to join MLS.
After back-and-forth chances for both clubs Wednesday, Cuevas opened the scoring in the 19th minute with a right-footed curler.
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Fuego goalkeeper Agustin Rey denied the UPSL side with back-to-back saves in the 52nd minute to keep the game at 1-0. However, the visitors would strike 13 minutes later as Jose Montes de Oca buried Edwin Borboa’s pass to level it.
Cuevas put the Fuego back in the lead in the 70th minute with his second goal of the night.
Three minutes later, substitute Joey Chica’s touch toward goal hit the post and trickled in for a 3-1 Fuego lead. After servicing Chica on the assist, Eti Tavares got a goal of his own in stoppage time to put away the game.
Cuevas was coming off a two-goal performance Saturday in a 4-0 win over Burlingame FC to open the Premier Development League season.
“Sometimes you go through those phases where you’re hot and it’s just soccer,” Cuevas said. “I just want to keep scoring for the city, for the club, and for my family.”
Kickoff for the Phoenix Rising match is set for 7 p.m. Tickets go on sale at noon Friday at the Chukchansi Park box office and online.
The Fuego next travel to Burlingame to face the Dragons in a PDL match at 4 p.m. Sunday.