For the first time in the clubs history, Detroit City FC has advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open Cup after defeating the Michigan Bucks in 4-3 in penalty kicks after 120 minutes of scoreless soccer.
“I think we have been legitimized by what we do off the field in the stands and in our community,” DCFC head coach Ben Pirmann said. “We have fallen up short in the Open Cup and we were naive last year and to take it to them this year and get the win is what we needed.”
The Bucks would have the first scoring chance of the match in the fifth minute off a free kick from 25 yards out that would ring off the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
The set piece pressure would continue for the Bucks as center back, Lalas Abubukar, would rise above his defender off a corner in the eighth minute and head a ball to the towards the bottom left corner where City goalkeeper, Evan Louro, would make a diving save to keep the game scoreless.
Detroit would have a scoring chance off a set piece in the 12th minute as a ball from 30 yards out would be whipped in to the back post where midfielder, Dave Edwardson, would miss-hit the ball and Bucks goalkeeper, Drew Shepherd, would come off his line to smother the loose ball in the box.
In the 37th minute, Shepherd, would come up big for the Bucks as DCFC would create a turnover and force him off his line where he would make a foot save at the top of the 18 yard box to keep the game scoreless.
The match would head in to a midfield battle as the next best scoring opportunity would come in the 76th minute when City midfielder, Danny Deakin, would hit a shot at the top of the 18 that would just go wide of the far post.
In the latter part of the 80th minute the Bucks would have three corners in a row, but nothing would come of it as Detroit’s defense would pack it into the box and withstand the pressure.
“The Bucks kept the ball quite a bit and made us chase around at times so we got a little tired,” Pirmann said. “We had three chances there where we really stepped on them. Once those didn’t go in and we had a couple of guys go down with injuries I made sure we said defense first.”
The match would need an extra 30 minutes of overtime and the Bucks would keep the Detroit defense on their toes.
Bucks midfielder, Adam Najem, would have a good look in the 96th minute as he would try to chip Louro from 18 yards out, but Louro would track back and dive to push the ball over the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.
“Evan is a big boy and has a great presence,” Pirmann said. “The chip that Najem had, I thought game over. He tipped it wide and Evan is a big time goalie.”
The Bucks would maintain the pressure but City would pack it in to make it difficult for a clear shot on goal and after 120 minutes of overtime, the game would move to penalty kicks.
Bucks would go first in penalties and defender, Tom Owens, would strike his shot way over the crossbar.
Detroit would answer as defender, Seb Harris, would hit as a shot right down the middle that Shepherd would get a hand on, but the ball would bounce off the cross bar and in.
Forward, Russell Cicerone, would have his shot saved by Louro and then City forward, Jeff Adkins, would convert his to give Detroit a 2-0 lead.
The Bucks wouldn’t quit though as Najem would convert his to make it 2-1 and then City forward, Tyler Moorman, would make his to put it as 3-1.
With the game on the line Bucks forward, Andre Landell, would convert his penalty and then Shepherd would come up with a huge diving save to his left to keep the penalties at 3-2.
Midfielder, Jordan Snell, would convert his and Deakin would hit his penalty over the goal to tie it up at 3-3.
Midfielder, Brad Dunwell, would have a chance to give his team the lead, but Louro would come up with a huge diving save to his left to keep it tied.
Defender, Bret Nason, would close it out for City as he would slot his penalty into the left side of the goal to give Detroit the 4-3 win in penalties.
“I kind of just went up there and knew the spot that I was going to kick it in and it was honestly just lucky,” Nason said.
Detroit will travel to Louisville on Wednesday May 18th to play Louisville City in the Second Round of the US Open Cup.