Manhattan SC won their opening game in the 2023 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup after beating FC Motown in extra time at Marillac Field in the Bronx on Wednesday night.
After falling behind early, a pair of teenagers led the way. Bibi Karamoko equalized in the second half for Manhattan and then assisted on William Lulka’s game-winner in the 106th minute to give the USL League Two side their first-ever Open Cup win.
Manhattan advance to take on Flower City Union of NISA in the Second Round on April 4.
In the first half, both teams traded shots on goal and fouls as they felt each other out. Manhattan SC would have a few chances as the match opened up. The best of which came in the 8th minute as a well timed low cross missed everyone’s boots in the box. Shortly after, it was FC Motown who would jump out to an early lead in the 26th minute. Franco Catania finished a pass from Samunel Nii Ashitey. There was not much the Manhattan SC goalkeeper could do as Catania’s shot found the back of the net. Manhattan SC would later be denied a penalty despite numerous claims from the players. The first half would end with FC Motown in the lead, 1-0.
Manhattan SC pushed for an equalizer in the second half, and got their reward in the 54th minute. Hakim Karamoto came to his side’s rescue as his goal tied the game at 1-1. It was all about finding a winner from then on. Manhattan SC had the best chance to grab a winner later in the half. FC Motown keeper David Greczek kept his side in the match with a diving save from a header at close range. At the end of regulation, the sides could not be separated and we headed to extra time.
FC Motown had a much larger bench than Manhattan SC. They made several changes as the match went on and looked to have the fresher legs. They dominated the first period of extra time, but couldn’t come up with a goal to show for it. Their best opportunity was a header in the 101st minute. In the second half of extra time, Manhattan SC went all in. A run from William Lulka ended with the ball in the back of the net and a 2-1 lead for his side in the 106st minute. They would absorb the pressure from Motown to see out the match and secure their place in the next round.
FC Motown coach Gideon Baah had a sober tone after the match. “Unfortunately we couldn’t finish a lot of our chances. Most of the half chances we could have buried. But for me I see it in this way; perspective wise, these things happen.”
This is, without a doubt, the most beautiful field I’ve ever seen.— Michael Battista (@MichaelBattista) March 22, 2023
On site at The College of Mt. Saint Vincent (Bronx, NY) for the #USOC2023 First Round match between Manhattan SC & FC Motown. pic.twitter.com/NfQTMRjtfS
His counter part, Ray Selvadurai, was very proud of his squad. ““It’s a big honor and a big step. Like I mentioned before about our club, we’re a youth club that took a step into pre-professional. To play against a professional team in the next round is a great honor and I think my guys showed tonight that they could compete.”
Manhattan SC will face Flower City Union in the next round on April 4th.