Cory Burke of the Philadelphia Union celebrates his goal against the New York Red Bulls in the Fifth Round of the 2018 US Open Cup. Photo: Bob Larson | TheCup.us
For the fourth straight year of US Open Cup action, the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls faced off. This time around, the Union defeated their MLS rivals, 2-1. With the win, and move on to the Quarterfinals for the fifth time in seven years where they will host either D.C. United or Orlando City SC on July 18.
Cory Burke and Haris Medunjanin each scored for the Union with US international Alejandro Bedoya assisting on both goals to lead the way.
Philadelphia held an 11-6 shots advantage including many prime opportunities within striking distance. Cory Burke headed Fabrice-Jean Picault‘s cross just wide in the 31st minute as the young forward was wide open inside the box. Moments later, Picault’s shot forced Robles to his left to keep the game scoreless. In total, six of the Union’s 11 shots missed the frame in the first half as the home side could have easily taken a lead into the locker room.
After the intermission, the Red Bulls came out with their own opportunities. Connor Lade’s shot from outside the box was blocked a minute after New York earned a free kick that didn’t lead to any threatening chance on goal. Two minutes later, in the 49th minute, Andre Blake was forced to save Kemar Lawrence’s shot before Marc Rzatkowski left-footed shot was blocked in the box. New York threatened with a header that went wide.
The Union finally opened the scoring on Medunjanin’s impressive strike from outside the box. The 52nd-minute goal was Medujanin’s first career Open Cup goal and gave the Union the lead. Bedoya brought the ball up the right wing before finding Medujanin in the center of the field where the midfielder dribbled to his left from about 25 yards out and sent a rocket into the back of the net.
Philadelphia didn’t let up after the much-needed score and doubled their lead less than nine minutes later. Burke, who frustrated the Red Bulls’ defensive unit regularly, capped off a quality team effort as Medunjanin fed Bedoya who sent a through ball to a wide-open Burke in the box.
Each team traded missed chances later in the second half as the Red Bulls attempted to make a comeback. Bradley Wright-Phillips cut the deficit to one as Kaku slotted the ball to the dangerous forward who finished accurately to score his fifth career US Open Cup goal. With that tally, Wright-Phillips ties Amado Guevara for the most tournament goals in club history.
While New York had a few more plays towards goal, the Union’s defensive unit hunkered down and held on for the 2-1 victory over their MLS foes. With the win, the Union remain undefeated against the Red Bulls in Open Cup play (2-0-2, 1-1 PKs). This marked the first time in the Modern Era (1995-present) that two teams have met in four consecutive tournaments.
The win also extends the Union’s tournament unbeaten streak to 12 games (7-0-5, 2-3 PKs), the second-longest in the Modern Era. (NOTE: Matches that end in penalty kicks are officially listed as draws)