HARRISBURG, Pa. – Even in the long and storied history of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, few, if any, games could match the drama and the shock of Harrisburg's third-round victory over New England on penalty kicks on Tuesday night.
Harrisburg mounted a stunning comeback to score three goals in the final nine minutes of extra time to cancel out the Revolution's three goals in the opening stanza and send the game into penalty kicks.
City Islanders goalkeeper Nick Noble proved the hero as he stopped Benny Feilhaber's effort in the fifth round to hand the USL Pro side a home date against New York on June 5.
No one would have expected such a wild night after the relatively tame course of normal time. Diego Fagundez procured a red card for a challenge after 36 minutes, while Kelyn Rowe and Sainey Touray both hit the bar as both sides struggled to muster much in the way of incisiveness on a soggy night in central Pennsylvania.
The match perked to life in extra time as the Revolution established a seemingly formidable three-goal lead in the first 13 minutes. Rowe slotted home Lee Nguyen's pass to open the scoring after 95 minutes. Nguyen doubled the lead with a penalty kick five minutes later after Feilhaber suffered a foul inside the penalty area. Feilhaber then skillfully chested down Blake Brettschneider's square pass and curled home with the outside of his right foot.
Those three goals should have sealed the Revs' place in the next round, but Harrisburg responded in the second half of extra time to improbably send the match to penalty kicks.
Brian Ombiji started the revival by turning home Tom Mellor's square pass after 111 minutes. Touray finally broke through by sweeping home a rebound six minutes later to set up a grandstand finish. J.T. Noone completed the comeback with a low drive inside the far post in the 120th minute to spark a crazy reaction from the City Islanders faithful.
The diehard fans stormed the field minutes later after both sides exchanged misses in the early rounds, Andrew Marshall drove his fifth-round spot kick down the middle and Noble dove to his right to deny Feilhaber and seal Harrisburg's stunning victory.
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)
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)
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
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