Reading secured coach David Castellanos his first Cup victory and overall win as Reading manager.
“It’s a special moment for the coaching staff and the players to get that first win,” Castellanos said. “US Open Cup games are like NCAA Tournament games. It is one and done. I was very, very pleased with the result.”
Reading United move on to face USL-Pro side Rochester Rhinos on May 28th in Rochester, NY.
At the half, Reading held the one-goal advantage and stood 45 minutes away from advancing to the Third Round for the second consecutive year.
Binghamton and head referee Darth Newman did not make it easy at first.
Binghamton penetrated into the penalty box and earned a penalty kick after Reading’s Robby Sagel took down an opponent. It appeared to be a clean defensive play, but Newman decided otherwise from a distance – about 20 yards – and pointed to the spot without confirming the call with his near sideline assistant referee, who was much closer to the play.
Binghamton’s Bozidar Jelovic stepped up and shot left past a diving Alex Bono to knot the match at 2-2.
Reading’s Ignacio Maganto came in for Graham Smith in the 61th minute and made an immediate impact. Darius Madison found more space on the left flank again and charged towards the box with favorable numbers. On a 2-on-1, Madison passed over to an open Maganto whose strike put Reading up for good.
From there, the game was in Reading’s favor. Six minutes later Quincy Thomas doubled the lead. Off a corner kick, Binghamton failed to clear the ball out of danger after a few headers that pinballed around the box. Thomas secured the box at the top of the 18-yard box and sent it screaming into the top netting.
As the game wound down and Reading continued to control the game’s pace and possession, Madison put on a show for the 236 fans in attendance. Madison dribbled around his defender, losing his shoe in the process. Before the ball went out of bounds, he saved it on the sideline and drew Stenta off his line leaving the net wide open. Nick Surkamp capped-off Reading’s five goal night by blasting the ball into the open net.
“I basically squared the guy up, faked right and he stepped on my cleat and it game off,” Madison said. “I passed it towards the penalty mark and Surkamp was there to finish it.”
Reading threatened from the opening whistle. In the ninth minute, Madison’s diving header just missed finding the back of the net as it hit the right post.
Moments later the game’s first goal would come as Madison beat his defender on the left flank and found space to send a cross into the box. Oumar Ballo found the ball and sent it through traffic and goalkeeper Jason Stenta’s legs.
With Reading leading 1-0 less than 20 minutes in it continued to pressure, looking to increase its lead. Instead, Binghamton found an equalizer. A mid-field turnover allowed Binghamton an offensive advantage as Jonny Sinclair’s cross set up Alex Varkatzas perfectly for the game-tying goal in the 35th minute.
The hosts continued to press. Madison almost found the net in the 41st minute. Stenta struggled to hold onto the speedy forwards’ shot at first but was able to escape without danger. Moments later Madison found another chance to strike and emphatically put Reading up right before the halftime whistle. Lucas Baldin turned his defender on the attack and sent a precise pass to a streaking Madison who found the right-side netting.