Salone FC (blue) and Cavalla FC battle for the ball in their Eastern Pennsylvania Open Cup quarterfinal match. Photo: Jeff Livezey
Michael Berton and Jeff Livezey contributed to this report
One of the biggest state qualifying tournaments for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, which began with 13 teams, is now down to the final four.
West Chester United and Cavalla FC will meet in the semifinals after earning 4-0 quarterfinal wins. United knocked off Quakertown while Cavalla, playing on the road, defeated Salone.
One of the most storied teams in Eastern Pennsylvania, United German Hungarians, continued on to the semis with a 3-0 win over Junior Lone Star. UGH will face off with the Predators in the next round, who advanced 5-4 in a penalty kick shootout over Nether United after finishing in a scoreless draw.
Cavalla FC 4:0 Salone FC
Cavalla FC may have defeated Salone FC 4-0, but the game was not as one-sided as the scoreline would suggest. Cavalla led throughout the game, but didn’t put the game out of reach until late in the second half.
Cavalla started off with being awarded a penalty kick in the 8th minute that Oliver Quiah converted to put CFC up 1-0. Already down by a goal, Salone’s comeback chances took a hit when Dero Muttabah was sent off on a red card after a hard challenge that put Salone FC down to ten men before the halftime break. At the start of the second half, Cavalla’s Gerald Saydee dribbled through two Salone defenders and buried his shot past the goal keeper to give the visitors a two-goal cushion.
Despite being down a man Salone FC showed alot of fight, and nearly leveled the match, but Abdul Sesay and Idrissa Kone both had shots rattle off the post.
In the 82nd minute, the game started to unravel for the shorthanded Salone FC as Cavalla’s Peter Jarbo caught Salone goalkeeper Ralph Jacobs off his line and put a chip shot in the back of the net making it 3-0. Three minutes later, another Salone FC player was sent off when Fatoma Turay came in with a hard challenge. The game wrapped up in the final minute when Robinson Barclay was sent through on a breakaway and he slotted the ball past the goalkeeper.
This is the first entry into the Open Cup tournament for Cavalla FC, while Salone was the runner-up last year
Predators 0:0 Nether United (Predators advance 5-4 in PKs)
After finishing regulation scoreless, the Predators advanced to the semifinals of the tournament, winning the penalty kick shootout, 5-4 over Nether United.
“It was a very well-played game,” Predators coach Blaise Santangelo said. “Our goalie [Anthony Noel] just made a couple more saves.”
Jason Kustka scored the final kick for Predators, who are an over-30 club that, according to team officials, is “not affiliated with West Chester United.” Predators had reached the quarterfinals by beating Vereinigung Erzegebirge 1-0 in Round One.
Nether United defeated 2010 and 2011 state champion Phoenix SC on penalties in the first round, but could not replicate that feat in this round. United player/coach Scott Spangler finished the game ruing missed opportunities.
“Both teams had chances,” he said. “We just didn’t finish the opportunities that came about.”
With the victory, the Predators move on to the semifinals where will take on the United German Hungarians at UGH Field in Oakford, Pa. next Sunday. The time of the match has not been announced.
United German Hungarians 3:0 Junior Lone Star
The United German Hungarians, who are likely the only team who have been around longer than the US Open Cup (founded in 1910), who will try to qualify for the tournament this year, punched their ticket to the final four with a 3-0 win over Junior Lone Star. UGH, who have not won the state championship since 2008, got two goals from Elsion Pajolarri, and another from Uche Onyeador to put them back in the semifinals for the fifth year in a row.
Pajolarri, who played his college ball at Penn State-Abington, opened the scoring in the 24th minute off a free kick from former Temple University standout Joe Brocker. Just after halftime Onyeador, a former Georgetown Hoya, made it 2-0 on an assist from LaSalle alum John Gravelle. Any hope of a comeback was squashed when Pajolarri added his second of the day, unassisted, in the 73rd minute.
UGH will host the Predators on Sunday, Dec. 9 trying to reach the final for the fourth time in six years.
West Chester United 4:0 Quakertown FC
The defending state champion West Chester United got their title defense off on the right foot with a 4-0 win over Quakertown FC. This was the first game of the tournament for West Chester who received a first round bye.
United carried the majority of the play in the opening half and started out with their first scoring chance 14 minutes into the match. Andrew Kummerer served a corner kick that was headed by Bill Brown but right at the Quakertown goalkeeper. Moments later, Kai Kasiguran created space around a defender and got a quick, low shot off that the keeper saved.
The early chances gave West Chester confidence as they started to pick up the pace. Justin McCall and Omar Salmon worked a pretty give-and-go 24 minutes in and deep in the Quakertown half but McCall was too fast and offsides as a result. Central defender Chris Amato was solid defensively all game and got involved in the offense multiple times including a 70-yard run following a steal in his defensive third. However, by the time he got within range of the goal, it was easily swallowed by the keeper.
Just a minute later, in the 27th, Dave King found McCall all alone in the area. He served a ball from the right flank toward the back post that found McCall’s head for the opening goal. West Chester continued to take the game to Quakertown, who didn’t register a shot until the 30th minute. In the 35th minute, Kummerer slipped a throughball to Salmon who hip faked the keeper to the far post and slid the ball toward goal with the outside of his left foot, and kissed it off the near post and in for a 2-0 lead.
Neema Mohajery found an opportunity to get into the offense and found himself about 8 yards out when the ball made its way to him. The ball came in on a little hop and was too much to handle and he shot it high over the bar.
The second half continued the same as the first with West Chester creating more of the chances. In the 57th minute, McCall worked his defender deep on the far side. West Chester was able to move the ball to the near side to King at the top of the box who dribbled his man, created space to his right and hit a low, far-post shot beyond the keeper for an unassisted goal and a 3-0 lead. Two minutes later, Chulick was forced to make his most challenging save of the match when Quakertown countered. The attacker never got entirely free but Chulick came off his line to slide and gather the ball. Three minutes later, McCall touched the ball through the defense to second half sub Scott Patrick who did well to make a lateral run and score the fourth and final goal.
2013 Eastern PA Open Cup Tournament
(home team listed second)
First Round (Nov. 11) [+] Recap
Cavalla FC 1:0 Ukrainian Nationals (Oct. 28)
Quakertown 3:2 Colonial Ultras
Junior Lone Star 6:0 Mayfair Celtic
Nether United 1:1 Phoenix SC (Nether United advances, 7-6 in PKs)
Predators 1:0 Vereinigung Erzgebirge
Quarterfinals (Dec. 2)
Quakertown 0:4 West Chester United
Cavalla FC 4:0 Salone
Junior Lone Star 0:3 United German Hungarians
Predators 0:0 Nether United (Predators advance 5-4 in PKs)
Semifinals (Dec. 9 – 2 p.m.)
Cavalla FC at West Chester United
Predators at United German Hungarians
Final (Dec. 16)
Cavalla FC/West Chester vs. Predators/UGH
Past Eastern PA Open Cup champions:
1997: United German Hungarians
1998: United German Hungarians
1999: United German Hungarians*
2000: United German Hungarians
2002: Vereinigung Erzgebirge*
2003: Ukrainian Nationals
2004: Lighthouse SC
2005: Ukrainian Nationals
2006: Ukrainian Nationals
2007: Vereinigung Erzgebirge (Runner-up Ukrainian Nationals also qualified for Region I Finals)
2008: United German Hungarians
2009: Vereinigung Erzgebirge
2010: Phoenix SC
2011: Phoenix SC*
2012: West Chester United Predators
* Qualified for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup