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U.S. Open Cup Rewind: Nashville SC downs Atlanta United, Sounders eliminated, and more


The U.S. Open Cup fourth round came to a close on Thursday with 10 clubs punching their tickets into the Round of 16, with several MLS clubs advancing in the competition.

Nashville SC earned its first-ever U.S. Open Cup victory at Geodis Park, fighting back from a first-half deficit to defeat Atlanta United 3-2 in extra time. Gary Smith’s side used a stoppage time equalizer from C.J. Sapong to force the extra time periods, before Ethan Zubak came off of the bench to score the winner.

Thiago Almada and Luiz Araujo scored 16 minutes apart for the Five Stripes, giving the Eastern Conference visitors a two-goal advantage heading into halftime. Nashville SC did not lie down though, using an early goal in the second-half to cut the deficit in half.

Hany Mukhtar’s penalty kick finish in the 50th minute handed Nashville SC some needed momentum for what ended up being a thrilling ending to the match.

C.J. Sapong’s last-gasp header off of a Brian Atunga cross tied things up for Nashville SC and forced extra time. Zubak, a fellow substitute, needed only three minutes into the first extra time period to give the hosts a lead for good. Mukhtar’s through ball pass was slotted home by Zubak, putting the Five Stripes behind for the first time on the night.

Joe Willis made two key saves down the stretch, helping Nashville SC advance by a 3-2 scoreline.

Here is a closer look at the other key results from U.S. Open Cup play:

Sounders 2, Earthquakes 2 (San Jose advances 10-9 on penalties)

(Jimmy Medranda 54′, Fredy Montero 77′) – (Jack Skahan 10′ pk, Cade Cowell 50′)

The San Jose Earthquakes needed penalty kicks to advance into the Round of 16, downing the Seattle Sounders 10-9 after the teams played out a 2-2 result in 120 total minutes.

A two-goal lead for the Quakes evaporated in the second-half as Jimmy Medranada and Fredy Montero tied things up for the host Sounders at Starfire Sports Complex. Jack Skahan’s 10th-minute penalty kick paired with Cade Cowell’s finish in the 50th minute handed the visitors a 2-0 lead, but Brian Schmetzer’s side fought back to force extra time.

Sam Adineran had the best chance between the two clubs in stoppage time, but Quakes keeper Matt Bersano denied the young forward. After neither Western Conference club could find a winning goal, it was time for the goalkeepers to shine in the penalty shootout.

Stefan Cleveland denied Jackson Yueill’s effort in the second round, but Sounders midfielder Leo Chu missed his attempt in round three, keeping the teams level.

Bersano played the hero in Round 10, denying Cleveland’s low effort from nestling into the bottom-left corner. The 29-year-old stepped up and scored in the same exact spot, sending the Earthquakes into the Round of 16.

NYCFC 3, Rochester New York FC 1

(Thiago Andrade 23′, Heber 31′, Maxime Chanot 76′) – (Jesus Batiz 45+3′)

New York City FC also advanced into the Round of 16, eliminating Rochester New York FC 3-1 in the first-ever meeting between MLS and MLS NEXT Pro sides.

It was a strong start for Ronny Deila’s side, as Thiago Andrade looped a volley attempt over Philip Ejimadu and into the bottom corner in the 23rd minute. Gabriel Pereira’s dangerous cross allowed Andrade the room to loop his shot in for the opening goal.

Heber benefitted from an error by Ejimadu at the back, as the goalkeeper’s late clearance deflected off of the Brazilian and into the back of the net.

RNY FC cut the deficit to 2-1 just before halftime as Nik Latinovich’s lackluster clearance allowed Jesus Batiz to tap into an empty net. NYCFC left back Kevin O’Toole could only watch as the unfortunate play by Latinovich left goalkeeper Luis Barraza only to watch.

NYCFC reclaimed its two-goal advantage in the 76th minute as Maxime Chanot rose highest to head home a corner kick from Santiago Rodriguez. Both teams finished the match with 10-men apiece as Pereira and Preston Popp both were given red cards for separate offenses in stoppage time.

Union Omaha 2, Northern Colorado Hailstorm 0

(Noe Meza 46′, Conor Doyle 58′)

Union Omaha became the first USL League One side in the modern-era to reach the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16, scoring twice in the second half to defeat Northern Colorado Hailstorm 2-0 at home.

Noe Meza delivered the breakthrough goal for Union Omaha in the 46th minute, receiving a pass from Kemal Malcolm before roofing a shot into the top-right corner. Union Omaha didn’t need much time to ice the victory, scoring 12 minutes later through another confident finish.

Conor Doyle was played in towards goal by Joseph Brito’s through ball pass before drilling a low shot past Thomas Olsen and into the bottom-right corner. It was a nice passage of play at the top of the Hailstorm box and Doyle did not let the opportunity go to waste.

Northern Colorado Hailstorm was held to only one shot on goal in the defeat, ending their dream run in the competition.

Here is a closer look at all of Wednesday’s USOC results:

Richmond Kickers 1 – FC Charlotte 5

New England Revolution 5 – FC Cincinnati 1


Nashville SC 3 – Atlanta United 2 (AET)

Union Omaha 2 – Northern Colorado Hailstorm 0

Houston Dynamo 1 – San Antonio FC 0

Seattle Sounders 2 – San Jose Earthquakes 2 (San Jose advanced 10-9 on penalties)

Cal United Strikers 2 – L.A. Galaxy 3

Sacramento Republic FC 2 – Phoenix Rising FC 0

Minnesota United 2 – Colorado Rapids 1 (Match concluded on Thursday following inclement weather on Wednesday)

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