The New England Revolution celebrated the 20th anniversary of the opening of Gillette Stadium in style, routing Cincinnati FC 5-1 in Round 4 of the US Open Cup that saw Carles Gil score the first hat trick in the history of the competition for his club.
Cincinnati opened the scoring in the 12th minute, when a leading pass through a gap in the central defenders from Haris Medunjanin found a streaking Alvaro Barreal, who coolly slotted it home for his third goal of the tournament.
While they seemed to have the momentum early, Cincinnati’s goal marked their only shot on goal of the first half. New England got off to a slow start — tallying only one shot in the first half-hour of the game — but luck began to change in the 33rd minute, when Arnor Traustason was taken down by Cinncinati defender Zico Bailey in the box for a penalty. Gil calmly flicked the penalty past the keeper a minute later to tie the game at 1-1.
Gil found the scorer’s sheet again three minutes later. In the 37th minute he connected with a pass from Tommy McNamara at the top of the box and put it past a diving Kenneth Vermeer.
“If we went into halftime 1-0, I think it would have been a very challenging second half,” Arena said. “It was important to get the first goal, and the second one allowed us to relax a little bit.”
The Revolution carried their momentum into the second half. In the 47th minute, Polish national Adam Buksa sent a cross from Brandon Bye off the crossbar and into the net to extend the Revolution lead to two. This was Buksa’s first career goal in the US Open Cup, but marked the sixth consecutive game in all competitions where Buksa scored.
In the 54th minute, Gil made Revolution history as he scored the first hat trick in the club’s Open Cup history. His bending shot from the top of the box found the top left corner, giving Brandon Bye his second assist of the night. GIl also became the first Spanish player to score a hat trick in the Modern Era of the competition. His three goals put him in a tie for second in goals scored in this year’s competition.
“I don’t think we had a good first 30 minutes, we were a little bit slow and we didn’t want to tackle. After the first goal, we started to play good and win tackles,” Gil said. “We now have four more games to win a trophy.
“We are focused on this competition and also in the MLS.”
Even with the score at 4-1, the Revolution continued to pour it on. Four minutes after Gil’s hat trick, Adam Buksa found the back of the net with a powerful, bending shot fired from five yards outside the top right of the box, with his momentum bringing him away from goal. Buksa was subbed off a few minutes later, preventing him from possibly obtaining the second hat trick of the night.
Vermeer struggled to perform in his first start for Cincinnati in 2022; he allowed five goals on seven shots on target. His New England counterpart, Djordje Petrovic, fared better in his first career start for the Revolution; he made two saves and allowed one goal. The 22-year-old Serbian national was signed from FK Čukarički in early April.
This was the first meeting between the Revolution and Cincinnati in the competition. New England has reached the final on three occasions, winning the Cup in 2007. Cincinnati’s best run in the tournament came in 2017 when they still played in the United Soccer League; they reached the semifinals that year.
The Revolution’s 5-1 win marked their largest margin of victory in US Open Cup play since 2013, when they defeated the Rochester Rhinos by the same scoreline. New England now moves on to the Round of 16, where they will be grouped geographically into a group of four.