RWB Adria from Chicago have enjoyed playing soccer in the state of Michigan lately. Last year, they kicked off the 2014 US Open Cup by eliminating Detroit City FC in penalty kicks and followed that up a week later by upsetting the Michigan Bucks in overtime.
This year, they opened the 2015 tournament in East Lansing, Mich. to take on first-time entry Lansing United from the National Premier Soccer League. However, after 120 minutes of scoreless soccer, Lansing would deny RWB a third straight win in Michigan with a 4-2 victory in a penalty kick shootout.
It was Lansing United’s first-ever match in the Cup and it was the city of East Lansing’s first-ever time hosting a match.
“We talked about goal up, goal down, killing a game, chasing a game,” said Lansing United head coach Eric Rudland. “So tactically the guys were all prepared for this type of match and it really became that type of match where we sat in defensively and they sat in a bit the game never really opened up.”
In the next round, Lansing will return to play Louisville City FC from the USL on May 20 at Archer Stadium in East Lansing.
Marcelo Petit, Liam Madden, Matt Brown and Yves Nzwanga each made kicks from the spot while Quinn McAnaney saved one and a miss by RWB Adria led to Lansing’s victory.
RWB went first in as Antonio Aguilar was stopped by a diving McAnaney.
“That’s what you live for as a goalkeeper, you want to be in those positions and you just got to read what they’re doing and react,” McAnaney said. “All the pressure is on the shot taker in my opinion and I go in with that mentality and nothing to lose and came up with a big save.”
Petit, buried his shot into the lower right corner to give Lansing a 1-0 lead. The teams traded kicks in the second round and in the third round, Vlad Baciu a second half sub who was voted the Player of the Round in last year’s tournament, hit his penalty kick over the crossbar. It would turn out to hurt RWB as Brown converted his kick to make it 3-1.
Semir Mesanovic, converted his opportunity and put the pressure on Lansing to close out the game.
With the crowd on its feet, Nzwanga hit a shot towards the lower right corner, which skimmed off the goalkeepers’ fingertips to went in and give Lansing the win.
“Just getting a result tonight is massive whether it’s extra time PKs or in 90 minutes,” Rudland said. “For us as a club to be in the tournament is monumental and then to get the result tonight is just a great thing for us moving forward.”
In the first ten minutes of the match, RWB possessed the ball and put a lot of pressure on the United defense, which caused the United backline to make errors early in the match.
Lansing caught the Adria defense off guard in the fourth minute as Brown slipped behind the defense and hit a shot inside the 18-yard-box that went wide of the right post.
In the 26th minute, RWB responded as midfielder Derek Huffman hit a shot inside United’s 18-yard-box that rung off the crossbar near the upper right-hand corner of the goal.
Both teams would have a few more scoring opportunities, but none better than the ones in the first 30 minutes of the match.
Coming out of halftime, RWB replaced Huffman with Baciu, a strong and tall forward, who kept the United defense on their toes the entire second half.
“Jim (Fiscus) and Ben (Lamb) were so big there at the center back position because they had a couple center forwards that one big guy who I think subbed on in the second half was kind of a nuisance in the air but they did a great job holding them up,” McAnaney said.
In the 50th minute, Fiscus had a good look at goal off a corner kick from James DeCosemo, but Fiscus’ header was cleared away the RWB defender.
A few minutes later, Adria responded as midfielder and former Major League Soccer player Daniel Paladini ripped a shot 20 yards from goal that just missed the upper-left corner of the goal.
The game went back and forth the remaining 41 minutes of regulation as both teams got very few good looks at goal.
The game headed to extra time and in the 94th minute, RWB hit a dangerous cross into the United six-yard-box, which bounceed around the goal line and eventually was cleared by a United defender.
In the 97th minute, United forward Stephen Owusu got behind the Adria defense and headed a ball off the crossbar, but the ball was played a little too late as the linesman flagged Owusu for being offside.
RWB had another scoring opportunity as Baciu found himself open in the middle of the 18-yard-box in the 115th minute as he flicked a header towards the far post, but McAnaney easily made the save with two hands.
Penalty kick shootout: Lansing United vs. RWB Adria
Lansing United GM/Head Coach Eric Rudland
Lansing United GK Quin McAnaney
Lansing United’s Austin Dunn
Lansing United’s Yves Nzwanga