By TATE STEINLAGE
The fifth round of the 2014 U.S. Open wrapped up Wednesday, and what a two-day stretch it was. Fights, shootouts, and even lightning headlined a bizarre round that has set the stage for an exciting quarterfinals.
A colorfully-stormy Commerce City, Colo. played host to two of those whacky events Tuesday, as the Atlanta Silverbacks topped the Colorado Rapids 2-1 in a match that featured four red cards and three coaches sent off.
Three of the four reds were shown in a controversial sequence in the 62nd minute involving two Silverbacks players — including Jaime Chavez, who had already scored twice in the game —and one member from the Rapids. Chavez was originally whistled for a foul on Drew Moor before appearing to stomp on the head of the Rapids defender. The challenge evoked players from both sides to come to the aide of their respective teammate.
When the dust settled, Chavez was sent off along with teammate Kwadwo Poku. Rapids defender Marc Burch was also shown a red card for his role in the scruff. Additionally, both head coaches were sent off, including Colorado manager Pablo Mastroeni who appeared to stay within his technical box throughout the fight.
Another red card for Atlanta in the 65th minute would leave the Silverbacks with just eight players to Colorado’s ten. However, the Rapids could only take advantage once in the final half hour with a penalty kick from Dillion Powers in the 75th minute.
Here are the rest of the results from the U.S. Open Cup fifth round:
PHILADELPHIA UNION 2, NEW YORK COSMOS 1 — JUNE 24
Sebastian Le Toux’s late-game heroics helped the MLS avoid a second-straight upset at the hands of the Cosmos.
The Union forward scored two second-half goals, including a historic penalty kick in the 114th minute to secure his team a spot in the quarterfinals with a 2-1 victory.
After dominating the first-half, the Cosmos pushed forward for an opening goal 11 minutes out of the halftime break. The Union didn’t waste anytime equalizing, though, with Le Toux putting away an Andrew Wenger cross a minute later to knot the game at 1-1.
The match went into extra time, where Le Toux scored a penalty kick goal drawn by Maurice Edu. The goal was the 30-year-old’s 13th U.S. Open Cup goal, which is tied for the most in tournament history.
CAROLINA RAILHAWKS 1, LA GALAXY 0 — JUNE 24
Despite the LA Galaxy bringing and playing a majority of its MLS starters, it could not stop Daniel Jackson and the Carolina RailHawks.
Jackson was able to sneak behind the Galaxy back line in the 105th minute and slip a ball past goalkeeper Jaime Penedo to put the NASL into the next round.
The loss comes as a disappointment to the Galaxy, who were able to produce more than 30 shots with a majority of the possession in the contest. RailHawks rookie goalkeeper Scott Goodwin was stellar between the sticks to shutout the likes of Robbie Keane and substitute Landon Donovan.
SPORTING KANSAS CITY 1, PORTLAND TIMBERS 3 — JUNE 24
A home-and-away series with Sporting Kansas City began in favor of the Portland Timbers Tuesday in U.S. Open Cup action.
Resting several key players, the Timbers were able to grab control of the match early and tally three goals in 90 minutes to eliminate the 2012 U.S. Open Cup champions at Sporting Park, 3-1.
Gastón Fernández scored his second brace in as many weeks and Will Johnson put away a penalty kick to round out the Timbers’ offensive evening. Sporting KC threatened for portions of the match, but could only find the back of the net on a Soony Saad penalty kick goal late in the match.
HOUSTON DYNAMO 2, FC DALLAS 3 — JUNE 24
This U.S. Open Cup Texas “derby” had all the makings of a thrilling matchup — and thrilling it was.
FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele scored an extra time goal to secure his side a place in the quarterfinals with a 3-2 victory over the Houston Dynamo.
Goals were aplenty in the first hour as the two sides went back and forth, with Omar Cummings equalizing for the Dynamo in the 62nd minute to make it 2-2.
That scoreline would hold until extra time where Akindele took a Dynamo turnover and fired low past goalkeeper Tally Hall for the game winner.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS 1 (4), SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 1 (1) — JUNE 24
The Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes were knotted at 1-1 after 120 minutes, but the former broke the deadlock in a one-sided penalty kick shootout. [RECAP]
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION 2, ROCHESTER RHINOS 1 — JUNE 25
A strong first-half performance from the New England Revolution was enough to avoid any sort of upset in its matchup with the Rochester Rhinos Wednesday.
The Revolution tallied two goals in the opening 45 minutes — including an 11th minute tally from Saer Sene — to give the side a nice halftime cushion at 2-0. Rochester would battle hard and make the second half interesting with a goal in the 55th minute, but the stingy Revolution defense would hold the scoreline at 2-1 up to the final whistle.
CHICAGO FIRE 4, COLUMBUS CREW 2 — JUNE 25
A neck and neck 90 minutes between the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew would be all Fire in extra time.
Chicago broke a 2-2 tie in the 92nd minute with a goal from Quincy Amarikwa before extending the lead even further in the 108th minute with a tally from Juan Luis Anangonó.
The Crew saw goals from Jairo Arrieta and Bernardo Anor in the 55th and 70th minute, respectively. Despite the eventual defeat, Arrieta’s goal was the talk of the evening — a stunning, highlight-reel bicycle kick from six yards out.
What did you think of the U.S. Open Cup fifth round? Do you see either NASL side advancing to the semifinals?
Share your thoughts below.