- Friday, 01 June 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Even in the long and storied history of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, few, if any, games could match the drama and the shock of Sainey Touray’s Harrisburg’s third-round victory over Sainey Nyassi’s New England Revolution on penalty kicks on Tuesday night.
Harrisburg mounted a stunning comeback to score three goals in the final nine minutes of extra time to cancel out the Revolution’s three goals in the opening stanza and send the game into penalty kicks.
City Islanders’ goalkeeper Nick Noble proved the hero as he stopped Benny Feilhaber’s effort in the fifth round to hand the USL Pro side a home date against New York Red Bulls on June 5. No one would have expected such a wild night after the relatively tame course of normal time.
Diego Fagundez procured a red card for a challenge after 36 minutes, while Kelyn Rowe and Sainey Touray both hit the bar as both sides struggled to muster much in the way of incisiveness on a soggy night in central Pennsylvania.
The match perked to life in extra time as the Revolution established a seemingly formidable three-goal lead in the first 13 minutes. Rowe slotted home Lee Nguyen’s pass to open the scoring after 95 minutes.
Nguyen doubled the lead with a penalty kick five minutes later after Feilhaber suffered a foul inside the penalty area. Feilhaber then skillfully chested down Blake Brettschneider’s square pass and curled home with the outside of his right foot.
Those three goals should have sealed the Revs’ place in the next round, but Touray’s Harrisburg responded in the second half of extra time to improbably send the match to penalty kicks. Brian Ombiji started the revival by turning home Tom Mellor’s square pass after 111 minutes.
Sainey Touray finally broke through by sweeping home a rebound six minutes later to set up a grandstand finish. J.T. Noone completed the comeback with a low drive inside the far post in the 120th minute to spark a crazy reaction from the City Islanders faithful.
The diehard fans stormed the field minutes later after both sides exchanged misses in the early rounds, Andrew Marshall drove his fifth-round spot kick down the middle and Noble dove to his right to deny Feilhaber and seal Harrisburg’s stunning victory.
Meanwhile at the Blackbaud Stadium, Kenny Cooper and Heath Pearce each scored in the first half to lead the New York Red Bulls of MLS past the Charleston Battery of Amadou “Baresi” Sanyang 3-0 on Tuesday night in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.
This was New York’s first win over the Battery, a team from the USL Pro Division, in three U.S. Open Cup matches. Cooper opened the scoring in the 14th minute. After a strong build-up, New York’s Jhonny Arteaga found Cooper inside the 18-yard box. Cooper chested down the ball, pivoted and ripped a shot past goalkeeper Brock Duckworth.