Go ahead, try to wipe the smile off of Dayton Dutch Lions coach Ivar van Dinteren’s face. It wouldn’t go away Tuesday night. The third division Dutch Lions of USL Pro are on to the Fourth Round of play in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup after a stunning come-from-behind 2-1 win over the MLS side Columbus Crew in the final 11 minutes at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio in front of a sparse crowd of 1,646 at the massive arena.
“We had nothing to lose, Columbus had everything to lose. I just told them to go out and attack and just play,” van Dinteren said with a glint in his eye. “If it goes wrong, what do we have to lose? They are MLS, they have to win. We don’t have to win. That’s the mindset.”
Gibson Bardsley scored the match-winning tally in the 81st minute off a feed from Daniel Holowaty to send the Dutch Lions to the “Sweet 16” of Open Cup play. Two minutes prior, Gerrit-Jan Bartels found the net after a feed from Holowaty to tie it after Columbus’ Olman Vargas converted a penalty kick in the 64th minute.
“After the goal, I expected them to press us, but they gave us some space. If you let us play out of the back, then we are dangerous,” van Dinteren said. “We can play the game.
“They could have finished us going up 1-0, but I think we took the chances.”
It had been a rough go in the USL Pro season so far for the Dutch Lions, gaining just four ties in eight league games. Their only win had been a US Open Cup Second Round victory over the Chicago Fire Premier Development League squad, the primary rival of their next opponent, the Michigan Bucks, who recorded an upset of their own Tuesday night.
Fielding a starting side stocked with reserves, Columbus coach Robert Warzycha was surly after the game and was short with answers explaining the loss.
“Disappointed,” he said curtly when asked of the team’s performance during post-match remarks.
The Crew had been in a renaissance lately after a tough start, going 3-0-2 in their last five league matches. The team’s tough-luck on finishing returned at the wrong point in the season, eliminating the team from Cup play for a second season in a row in the first match they played.
Columbus outplayed Dayton for a majority of the contest, but could not find a way to finish in the first half, outshooting the Dutch Lions 9-0 with four shots fired onto Dutch Lions’ goalkeeper Matthew Williams.
The game continued to be slanted Columbus’ way in the second half and a fortunate handball call inside the box on Dayton’s Shane Smith as he fell and touched the ball on a shot taken by Columbus’ Justin Meram.
Vargas took the penalty kick and beat Williams low and to his right for the opening score.
Dayton continued to struggle offensively and played defense for most of the contest, but they broke through 15 minutes after Vargas put Columbus ahead.
Vargas’ pass behind him to a defender was knocked away, leading to Holowaty sending a cross from the right side to Bartels to tie it.
Columbus misplayed the ball less than two minutes later and Holowaty sent another cross from the right side onto the foot of Bardsley. He spun and leveled a strong kick into the back corner.
“I think we made two incredible goals,” van Dinteren said. “They were both just one-touch, one-touch, one-touch and goal. I think my team deserves this win.
“We’ve had some bad luck so far this season and this is finally what we get.”
The Crew finished with a 18-3 shots advantage with a 7-3 shots of goal tally, but it was Williams finishing with six saves and the Crew’s back-up Matt Lampson with one.
The Dutch Lions will face a fellow lower-tier side on June 5 as they travel to the Michigan Bucks – a fourth division squad from the PDL — in Pontiac, Mich. with the winner moving on to quarterfinal action. The Bucks defeated the MLS Chicago Fire 3-2 in a night of upsets for lower division squads.
Dayton Dutch Lions 2:1 Columbus Crew
Crew Stadium – Columbus, Ohio
CLB: Olman Vargas (penalty kick) – 64′
DAY: Gerrit-Jan Bartels (Daniel Holowaty) 79′
DAY: Gibson Bardsley (Daniel Holowaty) 81′
DAY: 33′ – Gibson Bardsley, yellow
CLB: 48+’- Ethan Finlay, yellow
DAY: 87′ – Kyle Knotek
Shots: Columbus 18, Dayton 3
Saves: Columbus – 1 (Matt Lampson); Dayton – 6 (Matthew Williams)
Corners: Columbus 4; Dayton 2
Fouls: Dayton 19; Columbus 6
Offsides: Dayton 2; Columbus 2
Columbus: Lamspon, Perry, Gehrig, James, Francis, George, Grossman,
Meram, Birchall, Finlay, Vargas. Bench: Gruenebaum, Williams, Veeder,
Anor, Duka, Renteria, Horton
Dayton: Williams, Preciado, Copier, Dias, Smith, Jones, DeLass,
McNamara, Garner, Bardsley, Priestly. Bench: Whisenhunt, DeGroot,
Robinson, Knoteli, Holowaty, Bartels, Kissinger