For the first time in franchise history, DC United eliminated the Chicago Fire in a knockout competition, winning 2-1 after extra time in Tuesday’s US Open Cup Quarterfinal match.
The Fire, winners of four Open Cup titles, looked to be on their way to continue their quest for a fifth when Daniel Woolard opened the scoring in the 36th minute. Woolard caught the DC defense out of position after receiving the ball from Logan Pause, and he put it past United goalkeeper Zach Wells to make it 1-0.
The early going was shaky for DC, prompting some changes in the second half. It turned out to be the subs that helped make the difference for United. Jaime Moreno and Francis Doe with fresh legs combined for a 77th minute goal to even things up.
The second half saw the sides more aggressive with five cautions being issued, though the score remained even at full time. The MLS rivals determined to knock each other out of the competition did not hold back with all four substitutions being used by both squads.
The decider occurred nine minutes into the first overtime period when Bryan Namoff headed in a Jaime Moreno corner kick. Soon after, Moreno left the game with an injury but by then, his deeds were done, as the veteran earned two assists for his forty minutes of play. Mexican international Cuautemoc Blanco also saw action in the overtime period but it was to be short lived when after fifteen minutes he found himself ejected for trying to punch United midfielder Clyde Simms. Marc Burch was also shown a red card for retaliating against Blanco. (UPDATE: Blanco given 2-year Open Cup ban)
The second overtime was 10 v 10 with United clinging to their precious lead and outlasting the Fire on their way to the Open Cup Semifinals. DC will make their sixth final four appearance, and their first since 2006, when they lost to the Chicago Fire.