PORTLAND, Ore. – The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup’s biggest Cinderella story continued Wednesday at the expense of the Portland Timbers, as amateur club Cal FC pulled out a shocking 1-0 overtime victory in a third-round game at JELD-WEN Field.
It was a goal by Cal FC forward Artur Aghasyan, the first-ever by a United States Adult Soccer Association team against an MLS opponent, in the fifth minute of the first overtime period that gutted an already frustrated crowd and proved to be the only tally of the night.
The Timbers offense, which has struggled throughout the young MLS season, was left stymied by the collection of castoffs from various professional and second-tier leagues assembled by former US national team player Eric Wynalda. Portland fired off 43 shots, including a missed penalty kick by striker Kris Boyd in the 80th minute, but failed to find the back of the net.
Cal FC will move on to face the Seattle Sounders, a 5-1 winner over the Atlanta Silverbacks on Wednesday, in a fourth-round game next week.
The Cal FC goal came when a streaking Aghasyan collected a pass in the middle of the field. The former Armenian Premier League and Real Salt Lake striker then took a touch and finished neatly past Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
Portland’s inability to record a goal was shocking considering the sheer number of quality looks at the goal they created. Boyd, fellow veteran Jorge Perlaza and youngster Brent Richards were primarily at fault, though nearly ever Timbers player contributed at least one highlight-reel miss.
After the Cal FC goal, the Timbers frantically pushed forward. A seemingly easy chance for Jack Jewsbury at the top of the box with nobody around him sailed high in stoppage time of the first overtime period.
A dangerous Perlaza header in the fourth minute of the second overtime period was handled nicely by Cal FC goalkeeper Derby Carrillo, who went on to keep the home team off the board for the evening.
And with that, Cinderella danced on.
CAL: Aghasyan (Barrera, Da.), 95
CAL: Rivera (Caution), 101
Portland: GK Perkins, D Jewsbury ©, D Mosquera, D Horst, D Smith (Braun, 46), M Alhassan, M Chara, M Nagbe, M Alexander (Richards, 65), F Perlaza, F Boyd (Kawulok, 90)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Bendik, D Jean-Baptiste, D Taylor, F Rincón
Cal FC: GK Carrillo, D Gonzalez, D Navarro, D Randolph, D Espinosa, M Manjivar, M Arreola (Rivera, 52), M Cruz (Ferreira, Pa., 72), M Barrera, Di. (Caceres, 52), F Barrera, Da., F Aghasyan
Substitutes Not Used: GK King, D Rocha, D Warring, M Ferreira, Pe.
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.