FC Cincinnati Edges Miami FC in Tense, All-Lower-Tier U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal
Miami FC and FC Cincinnati's rain-delayed U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal matched its anticipation with excitement and a tense environment, but it's the USL side whose dream run goes on.
The two lower-tier sides were vying to become the first non-MLS side since the Richmond Kickers to reach the final four since 2011, and FC Cincinnati is the one to earn that distinction after a tense 1-0 win at Riccardo Silva Stadium in South Florida. Djiby Fall did the honors in the second half, scoring in the 68th minute on a redirect of a cross at the near post.
The goal was his fourth of the competition, and his biggest one at that.
FC Cincinnati's run in the Open Cup has been a special one. After ousting fellow state foe Columbus Crew SC in the round of 32, it took care of the Chicago Fire in penalty kicks, with goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt the hero after making three saves in the shootout. It held off a furious Miami FC rally, keeping Kwadwo Poku and the NASL spring season champions at bay in hostile territory.
FCC will host the New York Red Bulls in the semifinals, looking to spring a third upset of an MLS foe. Only one non-MLS side has won the Open Cup in the MLS era, that being the Rochester Rhinos in 1999.
Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes will meet in the other side of the bracket.
The final is set for September 20.