Heroes themselves in 2017, FC Cincinnati came out on the losing side of lower-league heroics in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night, falling 1-0 at Saint Louis FC on a stoppage-time header from center back Sam Fink.

Fresh off an upset of the Chicago Fire last week, Saint Louis FC came out and created chance after chance in the early going, dominating the first half and ultimately forcing five saves from Cincinnati goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton, including a 10th-minute stop on Kadeem Dacres. Left back Paris Gee created several dangerous chances in the first 25 minutes, including a shot that hit the post and banked off Tyton's back before going out for a corner kick.

Victor Ulloa had the best chance of the first half for Cincinnati, but fourth-round hero Tomas Gomez made the stop. Gomez also came up with a critical play in the 81st minute, diving at the feet of Fanendo Adi and knocking the ball away before the Designated Player could get a shot off.

That set the stage for late Saint Louis FC heroics, with Russell Cicerone threatening several times and finally forcing a corner kick on a blistering shot Tyton could not hold. Lewis Hilton served up the set piece to the back post, where Fink, a St. Louis-area native in his second stint with the club, rose highest to power in the game-winning header.

Saint Louis FC are one of two USL Championship teams to reach the Open Cup quarterfinals this year, scheduled to play Atlanta United at Kennesaw State University on July 10.


  • 93'+ – STL – Sam Fink | WATCH

Three Things 

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Goosebumps and a night to remember for Saint Louis FC. Yet more frustration and yet another night to forget for FC Cincinnati, which rarely looked threatening despite a nominal possession advantage.

    : While Gomez's stop of Adi in the 81st minute was critical, Saint Louis FC fans will be talking about this for a LONG time.

  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Fink earns hero status for getting the winner and contributing to the shutout, but 25-year-old Lewis Hilton, from England by way of Division III Young Harris College in Georgia, continued to impress with his delivery both from set pieces and the run of play, including the decisive corner.

  • Next Up

    • STL: Sat., June 22 vs. North Carolina FC, USL Championship (8:30 pm ET | ESPN+)
    • CIN: Sat., June 22 vs. LA Galaxy (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; DAZN in Canada)