Harrisburg City Islanders came on late to earn a come from behind win against a shorthanded Reading United 2-1 at the Skyline Sports Complex.
Reading struck first on a David Rodriguez shot that put them up in the 35th minute, and held the upper hand throughout the half. However, their luck changed in the 53rd minute when Stephen Okai was given a straight red for a challenge on Harrisburg defender Stephen Basso. That left United with 10 men, however the team still held their resolve against a City Islanders side that showed little energy.
Harrisburg also struggled against amateur side Brooklyn Italians last year before forcing overtime and finally winning. They finally managed to get pressure on Reading in the last 10 minutes, with JT Noone slotting home his fifth career Open Cup goal on a ball from Jason Hotchkin with four minutes remaining to tie the game. During stoppage time, Jordan Seabrook served up a ball on the wing to Sainey Touray. Touray had United keeper Bryan Holt out of position, and sent home the game-winner to avert an upset.
Harrisburg kept a couple of streaks intact with the win. The club remains perfect in First Round matches (5-0-0) the last five years and the City Islanders have yet to lose to an an amateur side in tournament play (6-0-0 vs. Amateur Teams | 4-0-0 vs. PDL).
They will move on to host USL Pro rivals Rochester Rhinos at the Skyline Sports Complex on Tuesday, July 21st. The winner of the game will advance to the Third Round where they will face off with an MLS opponent to be determined. Game time is set at 7 p.m.