Emery Welshman of FC Cincinnati battles for the ball with a Detroit City FC player in a Second Round match in the 2018 US Open Cup. Photo: Brett Hansbauer | 4th Floor Creative
Detroit City FC battled valiantly against FC Cincinnati for 90 minutes to a 1-1 draw in the Second Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Unfortunately, the Cup match went an additional 30 minutes, and the United Soccer League side rallied to score three goals in extra time to defeat the amateurs from the Motor City, 4-1.
It was an offensive explosion that was completely different from what FC Cincy fans enjoyed last year during the club’s historic run to the US Open Cup Semifinals. The club advanced in five straight games to reach the tournament’s final four by scoring just four goals over 510 minutes. On Wednesday, it took them 120 minutes to put four goals in the back of the net. Canadian striker Emery Welshman scored three of the team’s four goals, with two fo them coming in extra time.
Play started early with Cincinnati holding a lot of pressure over the Hamtramck,Mich.-based club culminating with Daniel Haber’s cross almost finding the head of Paddy Barrett in the 21st minute. As the ball bounced around in the box and almost squirted out, Barrett found the ball again and unleashed a shot that was deflected out for another corner.
Cinco threatened again in the 23rd when Welshman took a shot toward’s Detroit’s net that was deflected, but landed in the box. Detroit’s keeper Nate Steinwascher beat the onrushing Cincinnati player to the ball and smothered it.
Detroit broke the deadlock in the 31st minute with a goal that not only wowed the stadium, but also electrified the internet. Haber’s pass was intercepted by Detroit’s Elliot Bentley deep in their half. Bentley then found Deakin who paced down the field and found Bentley on the left side. Bentley played a one time pass to Rafa Mentzingan who played a short pass a full springing Deakin. Deakin carried the ball into Cincinnati’s box before sending a low pass to Shawn Lawson, who was in the middle of the box. Lawson waited patiently as two Cincy defenders went by before slotting home a low shot into the right corner for the 1-0 lead.
The lead did not last long however, as Cincy tied it up three minutes later. A long cross came into Cincy’s box from the right to Detroit’s back post. The 6’6 Forrest Lasso was waiting and flicked a header back across the mouth of the goal, and the Guyanese international Welshman jumped and headed home the equalizer to make it 1-1. At halftime, Cincy had outshot Detroit (8-2), taken less fouls (0-5), and taken more corners (7-2) than Le Rouge. Cincy picked up their first foul as soon as the official blew his whistle to start the second half as a defender mowed down the back of Lawson’s leg.
FC Cincinnati fans cheer on their team during a Second Round match in the 2018 US Open Cup against Detroit City FC. Photo: Brett Hansbauer | 4th Floor Creative
Cincy injected some life into their wings when they inserted former FC Buffalo winger Russell Cicerone in the 60th. Detroit had a decent chance to put them up in front in the 79th minute as Detroit received a foul about 8 yards outside of the box, with Deakin and Omar Sinclair standing over the ball to take the free kick. Deakin quickly did and hooked it very wide of the net. Cinco got one last chance in regulation in stoppage time as Cicerone fired a corner into the box, but it was dealt with by the Detroit defense. Unfortunately for the NPSL side, dead legs kicked in as the players were exhausted, and it showed. Cincinnati scored in the 93rd when Welshman cut from the right side of the box, and found substitute Corben Bone who steadied the ball and slammed it home to make it 2-1. Six minutes later, it was 3-1 as Cicerone made an angling run from the right wing and took a shot. The ball deflected off of the defense, and Welshman was there to half volley it home. Welshman would complete the hat trick in the 111th minute after being in the right place at the right time, and poking home a goal.
City head coach had nothing but admiration for his team.
“We played hard. We could have done a few things differently, but we played hard. Dead legs set in, and there isn’t much you can do there. But we took the best team in (the Eastern Conference of) the USL to extra time. Can’t really ask for much more.”
When asked about whether it might be seen as some silver lining as Detroit had played three games in eight days (last Wednesday against the Bucks, Sunday against NPSL side AFC Ann Arbor, and Wednesday night), Pitman quickly replied shook his head.
“No. These guys want to win every game they come to play at. I want to win every came we line up and play.”
FC Cincinnati will move on to Highmark Stadium next Wednesday to play against USL Pittsburgh Riverhounds, who beat another NPSL side, the Erie Admirals.