Photo: Columbus Crew
In a round that included a number of close games, the Richmond Kickers became the only lower division team of the Third Round to pull off an upset in the US Open Cup, defeating the Columbus Crew 2-1 at Crew Stadium. Matthew Delicate’s diving header in the 85th minute proved to be the difference as the Kickers eliminated the 10-man Crew, who had reached the Open Cup Final last year.
After the two teams traded first half goals, the game changed in the 67th minute when a confrontation between Richmond’s Ryan Heins and Columbus’ Danny O’Rourke resulted in a red card being shown to O’Rourke. Richmond wasn’t able to capitalize on the advantage until the 85th minute when Delicate’s game-winner sent the Kickers to the Quarterfinals for the fifth time in club history, and the second time as a third division side (2007).
When the Third Round dust settled, the Kickers were $10,000 richer as the third division club who advanced the furthest in this year’s tournament.
After a slow start between the two teams, it was the visitors who broke through first with Nozomi Hiroyama’s first career goal for the Kickers. Former Crew player Stanley Nyazamba found Hiroyama at the top of the box who sent a bending ball into the back of the net to give the Kickers the lead.
In the 37th minute, Grossman hooked up with fellow rookie Justin Meram to tie the game up at 1-1. Meram broke into the penalty area and found Grossman, at the far post, for his first professional goal.
After halftime, the 67th minute proved to be an important turning point as the Crew dodged a bullet when a Delicate header hit the post and was cleared by the Columbus defense. Moments later, O’Rourke was sent off after he retaliated on some physical play from Richmond’s Heins.
|One-And-Done Finalists (1995-present)
|The Crew aren’t the first team to lose their first game after making the championship game the year before.
1999 Chicago Fire (1998 champions)
2000 Colorado Rapids (1999 runner-up)
2003 Columbus Crew (2002 runner-up)
2004 Metrostars/NY Red Bulls (2003 runner-up)
2007 Chicago Fire (2006 champions)
2007 Los Angeles Galaxy (2006 runner-up)
Even short a man, Columbus continued to hold possession and create chances. The best chance of the half came in the 80th minute when Tom Heinemann’s one-timer forced a big save from Richmond goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale.
Five minutes later, Edson Elcock sent a long ball ahead to Delicate and he dove and headed the ball past Andy Gruenebaum to give the Kickers the lead. Delicate’s goal was his third of the tournament, putting him in a tie for second behind teammate David Bulow’s 5 tallies.
The game-winner gives Delicate nine career Open Cup goals which puts him in a tie for fifth on the Professional Era’s (1995-present) goalscoring chart. The other players deadlocked with him at 9 include Josh Wolff, Carlos Ruiz, Randi Patterson and Tomas Boltnar.
The win avenges a nearly decade-old result when the Crew defeated the Kickers 3-0 in the Third Round of the 2002 Open Cup on a pair of goals by Brian McBride and another by Dante Washington.
It was the first time in Columbus history that they were eliminated by a third division club, and only the second time in club history that they were eliminated by a lower division team in regulation (1999 – Rochester Raging Rhinos).
TheCup.us Match MVP: Matthew Delicate
RIC – Nozomi Hiroyama (Stanley Nyazamba) – 20th min.
CLB – Cole Grossman (Justin Meram) – 37th min.
RIC – Matthew Delicâte (Edson Elcock) – 85th min.
Crew: GK Andy Gruenebaum, Korey Veeder (Andy Iro 88’), Eric Gehrig, Kevin Burns, Danny O’Rourke, Santiago Prim (Tom Heinemann 59’), Cole Grossman, Dehan Rusmir, Robbie Rogers (Anor 87’), Justin Meram, Jeff Cunningham
Kickers: GK Ronnie Pascale, Sascha Görres, Henry Kalungi, William Yomby, Dave Hertel, Luke Vercollone, Jamel Wallace, Ryan Heins (David Bulow – 87’), Nozomi Hiroyama (Edson Elcock – 54’), Stanley Nyazamba (Shaka Bangura – 78’), Matthew Delicâte
Shots Saves Fouls Corners
Kickers: 8 Kickers: 3 Kickers: 11 Kickers: 4
Crew: 16 Crew: 1 Crew: 8 Crew: 8
35th minute: Dave Hertel (Richmond)
88th minute: David Bulow (Richmond)
67th minute: Danny O’Rourke (Columbus)
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referees: John Safar, Britton Maier
Fourth Official: Pierre Saintil Francillon
Weather: Clear, 73