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U.S. Open Cup Rewind: FC Cincinnati, Houston Dynamo advance to semifinals


Two MLS clubs booked their spots into the U.S. Open Cup semifinals on Tuesday as FC Cincinnati and the Houston Dynamo advanced to the final four.

FC Cincinnati used a positive second-half performance to defeat USL Championship visitors Pittsburgh Riverhounds 3-1 at TQL Stadium. Brandon Vazquez and Alvaro Barreal found the back of the net before Santiago Arias added an insurance goal in stoppage time.

First-half injuries to Albert Dikwa and Robbie Mertz put Bob Lilley’s squad in an early hole with FC Cincy dictating the tempo of the match. However, Pat Noonan’s squad could only register one shot on target through the opening 45 minutes.

Vazquez broke the deadlock in the 56th minute after Dominique Badji set up the U.S. men’s national team forward for a confident left-footed finish.

As FC Cincy continued to pile on the pressure, Alvaro Barreal doubled the hosts lead through a stellar finish. Barreal’s left-footed golazo landed into the top-left corner, giving FC Cincy a 2-0 advantage with less than 20 minutes to play.

Barreal played distributor on FC Cincy’s third and final goal, crossing into the box and watching Santiago Arias head home his first goal of the competition.

Tola Showunmi netted a late consolation for Pittsburgh in the 94th minute, but it was FC Cincinnati who advanced to the semifinals.

FC Cincinnati will face the winner of Wednesday’s Birmingham Legion/Inter Miami tie.

Fire 1, Dynamo 4

The Houston Dynamo’s U.S. Open Cup run continued with a dominant road victory over the Chicago Fire at SeatGeek Stadium.

Ibrahim Aliyu scored twice for Ben Olsen’s squad while Amine Bassi and Nelson Quinones also found the back of the net.

Bassi set the tone early for the Dynamo in the 12th minute by scoring from the penalty spot after Maren Haile-Selassie hauled down Nelson Quinones in the box.

Aliyu doubled the Dynamo’s lead in the 31st minute after slotting home from a fast break and giving the visitors some breathing room.

Arnaud Souquet pulled one goal back for the Fire just before halftime as the defender headed home Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross for a 2-1 scoreline. However, the Dynamo would put the match out of reach in the second half with two additional goals.

Aliyu’s right-footed strike in the 59th minute made it 3-1 to Houston before Quinones capped off a dominant road win with his first goal of the tournament.

The Dynamo will meet either Real Salt Lake of the LA Galaxy in the semifinals.


  1. Am I blind or did they miss to obviously offsides on Cincy’s first goal? Can’t believe they don’t have VAR at this point in the tournament.


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