Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, Calif.
SAN FRANCISCO – When it comes to the US Open Cup, Cordell Cato owns Kezar Stadium.
Two years ago, Cato scored the only goal in the Seattle Sounders’ 1-0 quarterfinal victory against the San Jose Earthquakes at the former home of the San Francisco 49ers.
On Wednesday, Cato reprised his game-winning Kezar ways on the Quakes’ behalf, knocking home the game-winning goal in San Jose’s 2-1 victory against USL PRO side Sacramento Republic FC in fourth-round USOC play. Cato cut a 73rd-minute shot to the far post after Sacramento goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek was caught too far off his line chasing after a deflected Quakes pass.
San Jose midfielder Khari Stephenson converted a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time after Republic forward Justin Braun had put third-tier Sacramento up 1-0 with a glancing header in the 42nd minute.
Cato’s strike spared the Quakes the possibility of going to overtime against their USL PRO affiliate, as did the ejection of Republic defender Chad Bartlome in the 78th minute after he was shown a second yellow card.
San Jose will face the winner of next week’s match, between the Sounders and USASA amateur club PSA Elite, on June 24. – GEOFF LEPPER
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
HOUSTON – In a game with two ejections, Alex Lopez scored his first goal in a Houston Dynamo uniform to secure a 1-0 win over the Laredo Heat and a place in the fifth round of the US Open Cup.
Lopez took advantage of an advancing Laredo goalkeeper in the 38th minute, chipping 20-year-old Jorge Luis Ortega with a shot that settled in the far side netting for the lone goal of the game and unlocked a well-organized Heat defense.
Center back Matthieu Braem made things worse for Laredo when he was sent off for a second yellow card two minutes after the goal. The balance was restored in the 53rd minute when Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric used his hands outside of the penalty area to stop a shot from former Dynamo signee Felix Garcia, earning straight red.
Usual Dynamo No. 1 Tally Hall replaced Deric and faced a quick call to action. He made two big saves in the final 20 minutes, including a diving stop on a shot from distance, again from Garcia.
Houston will now host the winner of the June 17 match between FC Dallas and the San Antonio Scorpions. – DARRELL LOVELL