Kickers upsets Crew in US Open Cup
Matthew Delicate scored on a header in the 85th minute to lift the minor-league Richmond Kickers to a 2-1 victory against the Columbus Crew in a third-round match of the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night.
The Kickers, who play in the United Soccer League Pro division, play in the quarterfinals at Sporting Kansas City of the MLS on July 12.
Columbus, a loser to Seattle in the Open Cup final last season, had a chance to tie in the closing seconds when Bernardo Anor's corner kick found the head of Tommy Heinemann. Delicate appeared to deflect the ball with his shoulder and it went off the arm of teammate Henry Kalungi at the goal line.
The Crew unsuccessfully appealed for a handball and the Kickers avenged a loss to Columbus in 2002, the year Columbus won its only Open Cup.
''We've done it before so it's nothing new to us,'' Richmond coach Leigh Cowlishaw said of beating an MLS team in the Open Cup. ''The big thing is we've done it on the road.''
Heinemann had a right-footed one-timer off Robbie Rogers' goal kick denied by Ronnie Pascale in the 80th minute that would have put the short-handed Crew ahead.
The Crew lost defender Danny O'Rourke to a red card in the 67th minute for a retaliatory hit on Ryan Heins and the Kickers were able to take advantage as extra time loomed.
Second-half substitute Edson Elcock laced a 45-yard ball perfectly to Delicate near the left side of the goal box. He dove ahead of defender Korey Veeder and put the ball into the upper right corner for his third goal of the tournament.
He has nine goals in his Open Cup career to rank fifth in the modern pro era.
Richmond took a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute on a bending 18-yarder by Nozomi Hiroyama. The Crew equalized 17 minutes later on Cole Grossman's goal from the right side of the penalty area to complete a six-pass sequence.
''I was actually very surprised how good Columbus was even with the majority of their starters not playing,'' Cowlishaw said. ''We were quite fortunate to be tied (1-1) at half.''
That changed in the second half and the Crew, who started five rookies who have seen little of MLS play, fell to 19-11-1 in the Open Cup - a competition that began in 1914 and is open to all teams at the pro and amateur levels in the United States.
''I'm disappointed,'' Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. ''This is a group (of players) fighting for one of the starting positions. I'm so disappointed.''