Mohammed Sethi (Mequon Homestead) scored in the 90th minute, lifting Croatian Eagles to a 2-1 victory over Bavarian SC in the semifinal match of the Wisconsin Open Cup on Sunday afternoon at Croatian Park in Franklin.
The Croatians advance to play the Milwaukee Kickers in the state final next Sunday at Uihlein Soccer Park.
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m., with the winner qualifying for the U.S. Adult Soccer Association Region II tournament – the top two teams in that tournament typically earn berths in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Sunday’s game was a rematch of last summer’s Wisconsin Adult Soccer Association Major League playoff final, which the 10-man Bavarians won 2-1 in extra time.
Aaron Lauber (Franklin/UW) gave the Eagles the lead, finishing off a breakaway in the 35th, but Billy Meier (Racine St. Catherine’s/UW-Milwaukee) tied it up for the Bavarians by scoring on a scramble in the box in the 55th.
It appeared the teams were headed to extra time again until Sethi, who spent time with Major League Soccer’s Chivas USA earlier in his career, scored on a shot from the top of the box in the final minute of regulation.
The Croatians last won the state Open Cup in fall 2005, getting past the Kickers 5-4 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw, and went on to earn their fourth US Open Cup berth in spring 2006. The Kickers lost to the Bavarians in the state final in fall 2006, ’07 and ’08 before turning the tables in 2009.
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