The amateur Premier Development League side Long Island Rough Riders put up a good fight, but in the end their professional counterparts in Harrisburg were just too much.
The City Islanders scored two second half goals to win 2-0 and advance to the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, where they will play host to the New England Revolution of MLS. Yann Ekra scored in the 48th minute, and Brian Ombiji scored in the 77th in front of 418 fans at the Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg, Pa.
Coming into the game, Long Island was looking for some revenge against the team that knocked it out of the tournament in 2010. Harrisburg on the other hand, was looking for redemption after an early Second Round exit in the cup to the Rochester Rhinos last year. Despite the 2-0 scoreline, Harrisburg was far from dominant. In fact, Long Island had the better of play for a good portion of the first half. After some early City Islanders pressure, the Rough Riders earned two corners. Both set pieces forced Harrisburg goalkeeper Nick Noble to come off his line to punch the ball away.
In the 27th minute, the Rough Riders faced some poor luck with starting midfielder Ben Arikian picking up an injury. Just six minutes later, Adriano Gabriele was also forced to come out of the game for Long Island with an injury. After the two substitutions Harrisburg started to assert its dominance. The City Islanders struck soon after the whistle to start the second half. In the 48th minute, Morgan Langley found Ekra in the box. Ekra, coming off a hat-trick performance over the weekend in league play, calmly tucked the ball past the Rough Rider goalie and into the net to put Harrisburg up 1-0.
The goal seemed to jumpstart the Long Island offense. During a period of extended pressure, Matthew Wendelken forced a nice save off a corner in the 59th minute. Later, in the 73rd minute, a Long Island player went down in the box. To the dismay of the Rough Rider bench, however, no penalty was called. On the ensuing play, Keith Detelj was able to round the keeper, but he could not get a shot on net. Detelj would end up regretting his missed chance, as four minutes later Harrisburg’s Andrew Welker found Ombiji with a pass behind the defense. Ombiji slotted it past the onrushing goalie to double Harrisburg’s lead.
As the game wound down, Detelj had yet another chance, but his header hit the post and was cleared. The City Islanders were able to see the game out and improve to 8-0-0 against amateur clubs in the US Open Cup.
Shot on goal
Harrisburg supporters: Sons of the Susquehanna
Harrisburg City Islanders 2:0 Long Island Rough Riders
Skyline Sports Complex – Harrisburg, Pa.
HCI: Yann Ekra (Morgan Langley) 48
HCI: Brian Ombiji (Andrew Welker) 77
HCI: Brian Ombiji – caution 40
LI: James Mulligan – caution 41
LI: William Hole – caution 61
Harrisburg City Islanders: Nick Noble; Stephan Basso, Tommy Brandt, Andrew Marshall, Bilal Duckett; JT Noone, Andrew Welker (Adrian LeRoy-85), Morgan Langley (Tom Mellor-71), Drew Yates (Garret Pettis-63); Brian Ombiji, Yann Ekra
Long Island Rough Riders: Thomas Booth; Matthew Wendelken, Timothy Parker, Tom Wharf, William Hole; Gary Flood, Adriano Gabriele (Matthew Uy-33), James Mulligan (Sean Sepe-66), Stephan Barea, Ben Arikian (Dakota Barnathan-27); Keith Detelj