It took 120 minutes before the Philadelphia Union and Rochester Rhinos could score some goals. The teams needed a penalty kick shootout to decide things after a scoreless draw in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Fourth Round.
In the end, Union goalkeeper John McCarthy, a former Rochester Rhinos player, was the hero, saving three penalty kicks to win his team the tiebreaker. Philadelphia scored three penalties to take the shootout 3-1.
“[McCarthy] made some big saves for us in the PKs,” Union coach Jim Curtin said. “The second of three saves was special. He stepped up and bailed us out.”
It did not always look like McCarthy was going to be the hero, however. Several times in the second half and in extra time, he came way out of his penalty box to try to stop plays. Twice he made errors; on the first Raymon Gaddis saved the ball of the line, and on the second, a Rochester goal was disallowed due to a foul.
“I yelled at him for coming out for a couple balls he shouldn’t have,” said Curtin.
Other than a dominating opening 20 minutes for the MLS side, the match was pretty even. Rochester, which won the Open Cup in 1999, put more shots on goal than the Union (5-4), and frustrated the Union defensively. The USL outfit came into the match at 8-0-4 in league play, giving up just four goals.
The Rhinos’ best chance came in the 83rd minute. After a corner taken by Jonny Mendoza, the ball found its way to Julian Ringhof. The defender chested the ball and volleyed it, only to produce a spectacular double save by McCarthy.
“I thought they outplayed us in the second half. Credit to Rochester. That’s a tough team to break down,” Curtin said.
With neither team able to capitalize on chances in extra time, the match came down to penalty kicks. It was McCarthy making three saves—two to his right and the final to his left—to give the Union the victory.
With the win, the Philadelphia Union, last year’s runner-up, advance to the Fifth Round, winning their opening game for the fourth year in a row. The draw for the Fifth Round will occur on Thursday at 10 a.m.