HARRISBURG, Pa. – After going scoreless through 90 minutes, the New England Revolution and Harrisburg City Islanders combined for six goals in extra time before the City Islanders triumphed in a penalty shootout to eliminate the Revs from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night at Skyline Sports Complex.
The Revs – playing with 10 men following the 36th-minute ejection of Diego Fagundez – raced out to what appeared to be an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the first extra time period through goals from Kelyn Rowe (95’), Lee Nguyen (100’) and Benny Feilhaber (103’). But that advantage was wiped away in a remarkable second extra time period as Harrisburg responded through Brian Ombiji (111’), Sainey Touray (117’) and J.T. Noone (120’) to level the score at 3-3 and send the match to penalties.
New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth stopped the first penalty kick of the shootout to hand the Revs an early edge, but Rowe hit the crossbar and Feilhaber’s attempt was stopped by Harrisburg goalkeeper Nick Noble to send the City Islanders into the Open Cup’s fourth round for a meeting with the New York Red Bulls.
It’s the fourth straight year in which the Revs have been eliminated in the early rounds of the competition, including 2009 when they were knocked out at the same stage by the City Islanders.
Three days after suffering a 3-2 loss to D.C. United in league play, the Revs used an entirely different starting lineup against the City Islanders. Fernando Cardenas, Jose Moreno and Rowe all started after seeing substitute action at RFK Stadium.
Rowe almost got the Revs off to a perfect start in just the second minute, rattling the crossbar with a curling drive from distance. The Revolution rookie received a short corner kick and whipped in a shot from the edge of the box but Noble got a fingertip on the effort and directed the ball onto the woodwork.
The visitors continued to press and it was Rowe who was involved again in the 25th minute, bursting through the middle and delivering a clever pass to spring Moreno into the right side of the box. Moreno was clean through on goal but scuffed his shot, pulling the ball wide of the far post.
Ten minutes later the Revs were reduced to 10 men when Fagundez was issued a straight red card for a tackle on Harrisburg defender Tom Brandt as the players arrived simultaneously to a loose ball.
Shuttleworth was beaten in the 48th minute but was saved by the woodwork. Morgan Langley’s right-wing cross was headed back across the face of goal by Ombiji and Touray pounced on the loose ball, but the Harrisburg forward got under his shot and skimmed the effort off the crossbar.
Ombiji was involved again in the 68th minute, receiving a short corner and whipping a low cross into the box. Noone stooped to get his head on the service but his effort skipped just wide of the right post and the attempt proved to be the final quality chance in regulation.
Rowe finally made the breakthrough in the 95th minute to set the stage for a wild 30 minutes of extra time. Nguyen was the creator, weaving through midfield before slipping Rowe in behind the City Islanders backline. After taking a few touches toward goal, Rowe used his toe to poke a rising shot past the onrushing Noble.
Nguyen put his own name on the score sheet in the 100th minute, converting from the spot after Feilhaber was chopped down inside the box. It was a clinical finish from Nguyen, who drilled his shot low inside the right post as Noble dove the wrong way.
The 10-man Revs continued to pour on the pressure and made it 3-0 in the 103rd minute. Second-half substitute Blake Brettschneider did well to work his way down the right wing before switching the point of attack to Feilhaber, who rounded a defender before blasting a shot into the roof of the net.
Harrisburg began its improbable comeback in the 111th minute when Ombiji finished off a left-wing cross from Tom Mellor to give the City Islanders a lifeline with less than 10 minutes to play.
Touray cut the Revolution’s lead to 3-2 in the 117th minute, finally getting on the board after seeing numerous chances go begging throughout regulation. Harrisburg thought it had scored during a mad scramble in the box only to see the referee allow play to continue, but Touray eventually pounded the ball into the right side of the net just moments later to erase any doubt.
Still trailing by a goal with three minutes to play, the City Islanders threw numbers forward and were rewarded with the game-tying goal on virtually the last kick of the game. Noone was the hero, placing the ball low inside the left post with a 20-yard drive.
Shuttleworth stopped Noone’s penalty kick to begin the shootout, but Harrisburg scored on its next four attempts and earned the victory when Rowe hit the crossbar and Feilhaber’s fifth and final attempt was stopped.
The Revs return to their regular-season schedule on Saturday, June 2, when they host the Chicago Fire. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
New England Revolution (MLS) at Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO)
May 29, 2012 – Skyline Sports Complex (Harrisburg, Pa.)
New England Revolution 3, Harrisburg City Islanders 3 (Harrisburg wins on PKs, 4-3
NE – Kelyn Rowe (Lee Nguyen) 95
NE – Lee Nguyen (penalty kick) 100
NE – Benny Feilhaber (Blake Brettschneider) 103
HAR – Brian Ombiji (Tom Mellor) 111
HAR – Sainey Touray (unassisted) 117
HAR – Joseph Noone (unassisted) 120
HAR – Joseph Noone (save)
NE – Lee Nguyen (goal)
HAR – Stephen Basso (goal)
NE – Kelyn Rowe (miss)
HAR – Bilal Duckett (goal)
NE – Mike Roach (goal)
HAR – Drew Yates (goal)
NE – Blake Brettschneider (goal)
HAR – Andrew Marshall (goal)
NE – Benny Feilhaber (save)
New England Revolution:
Bobby Shuttleworth (GK), Tyler Polak, John Lozano, Darrius Barnes ©, Alec Purdie, Mike Roach, Fernando Cardenas (Benny Feilhaber 79), Kelyn Rowe, Jeremiah White (Lee Nguyen 63), Diego Fagundez, Jose Moreno (Blake Brettschneider 70)
Substitutes Not Used: Tim Murray, Stephen McCarthy
STATS: Shots 10, Corner Kicks 5, Saves 6, Fouls 12 Offsides 5
Harrisburg City Islanders:
Nicholas Noble (GK), Stephen Basso, Tom Brandt (Tom Mellor 100), Andrew Marshall, Bilal Duckett, Jason Pelletier, Andrew Welker (Drew Yates 64), Joseph Noone, Morgan Langley (Garret Pettis 76), Brian Ombiji, Sainey Touray
Substitutes Not Used: Dustin Bixler, Bryan Holt, Adrian LeRoy, Colin Zizzi
STATS: Shots 17, Corner Kicks 6, Saves 2, Fouls 20, Offsides 4
HAR – Sainey Touray (caution) 11
NE – Jeremiah White (caution) 17
NE – Diego Fagundez (ejection) 36
HAR – Jason Pelletier (caution) 45
HAR – Brian Ombiji (caution 89)
Referee: Ayodeji Obisesan
Assistant Referees: Albert Calise, Eric Weisbrod
Fourth Official: Jaroslaw Werel
Weather: Rainy and 80 degrees
- With the loss, the Revs’ overall U.S. Open Cup record is now 11-11-3 … the Revs are now 3-8-1 in Open Cup games on the road
- Tonight’s match marked the third-ever meeting between the two clubs in U.S. Open Cup play … with the loss, the Revs are now 1-1-1 against the City Islanders
- The Revs will resume MLS play at home on Saturday, June 2, taking on the Chicago Fire in the first of three regular-season meetings this year