2019 US Open Cup Round of 16: Sam Fink’s stoppage time winner gives Saint Louis FC another MLS cupset

Posted by | June 20, 2019
Sam Fink of Saint Louis FC celebrates his goal against FC Cincinnati in a Round of 16 match in the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Saint Louis FC

Sam Fink of Saint Louis FC celebrates his goal against FC Cincinnati in a Round of 16 match in the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Saint Louis FC

In the previous round against the Chicago, Saint Louis FC triumphed albeit rode their luck somewhat against a second half Fire onslaught. However in tonight’s Round of 16 matchup at Worldwide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Mo., it was FC Cincinnati who were under the kosh for the majority of the game and Saint Louis FC thoroughly deserved their 1-0 win with a late Sam Fink header.

Just like the previous round, the winning goal came from a Lewis Hilton corner kick as once again the green and blue used set pieces to full effect as Przemyslaw Tyton was eventually beaten by the towering Fink header three minutes into second half stoppage time.

With the win, STLFC advances as they become the first St. Louis team to reach the Quarterfinals since Scott Gallagher in 1993. Now, after three straight home games in the competition, they will hit the road to take on the defending MLS Cup champion Atlanta United FC on July 10.

Saint Louis FC fans came out to support their team against FC Cincinnati in the Round of 16 match of the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Will Bramlett

Saint Louis FC fans came out to support their team against FC Cincinnati in the Round of 16 match of the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Will Bramlett

Despite a lackluster weekend showing in league play against Hartford, and with FC Cincinnati having had a week off since their last Open Cup win against Louisville City, it was all STLFC in the first 45 minutes. Tyton made saves from Oscar Umar and Paris Gee, who hit the post before being scooped to safety by Tyton. Another cross from Hilton after 31 minutes found Russell Cicerone at the back post who saw his header go narrowly wide.

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After the initial burst from the home side, FC Cincinnati slowed the game down toward the end of the first half and began to put some pressure on the opposing goal, however it wasn’t until the 44th minute when Ulloa had a shot saved by Gomez that any shots gave the Saint Louis keeper any real trouble.

The second half was far more even keeled. FC Cincinnati saw more of the ball, but were limited to long range shots, midfielder Leonardo Bertone saw his strike from the outside of the box skip just past the wrong side of Gomez right post after 73 minutes.

Saint Louis FC however were simply not to be denied, a flurry of shots from Abend and Cicerone in the final five minutes were the perfect lead into the grande finale that saw another Hilton inswinging corner in the third minute of stoppage time evade everyone except the local hero and STLFC captain Sam Fink who rattled in his fourth goal of the season and send the crowd into raptures.

After the game, Coach Pulis was delighted for his players.

“I thought it was a deserved win, in the first half I counted six or seven really good opportunities,” said Pulis. “Although overall the guys were outstanding and they deserve it. Seeing the joy on their faces, and the fans. To see them get rewarded like this is really special.”

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