Brandon Vazquez again played U.S. Open Cup hero for Atlanta United on Tuesday, as a brace from the forward propelled the Five Stripes past Columbus Crew SC 3-2 at MAPFRE Stadium, even despite a 48-minute weather delay.
Atlanta’s three goals came from blatant Crew mistakes, with Vazquez first finding net in the 5th minute after capitalizing on a David Guzman turnover, prompting a breakaway chance. His second, and eventual game-winner, arrived in the 65th minute after easily beating center back Alex Crognale to the endline and finishing at the far post.
The defending MLS Cup champions also received a goal from Miles Robinson, his first as a professional, when the center back rose highest to a Ezequiel Barco corner kick in the 14th minute after he was left entirely unmarked at the back post.
The Crew had their moments, too, but not without some controversy. They made it 2-1 in the 40th minute via David Accam, even though Darlington Nagbe was down injured atop the 18-yard box. Their other came in the 71st minute, as Brad Guzan couldn’t hold onto a Waylon Francis cross amid heavy, persistent rain. Even with the own goal, the 3-2 scoreline stood.
- 5' – ATL – Brandon Vazquez | WATCH
- 14' – ATL – Miles Robinson | WATCH
- 40' – CLB – David Accam | WATCH
- 65' – ATL – Brandon Vazquez | WATCH
- 71 – CLB – Brad Guzan (OG) | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Before Tuesday night, the defending MLS Cup champions had never advanced past the Round of 16 of the Open Cup. That’s now checked off, as Atlanta are through to the quarterfinal stage for the first time in club history. As for the Crew, they’re now approaching two decades since winning the Open Cup, having emerged as champions in 2002. In between, the closet they’ve come is a 2010 final appearance.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: While not a goal or game-saving stop, the conversation point arrived in the 75th minute when severe downpours prompted what was ultimately a 48-minute weather delay. The break reinvigorated Columbus, but also allowed Atlanta to regroup and see out the win.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Barco could have received the nod here for his linking play in midfield, but Brandon Vazquez’s rich run of form in the Open Cup is hard to ignore. Vazquez, filling in for Josef Martinez while he’s with Venezuela at the Copa America, bagged his second brace in as many games. Throughout his career, the 20-year-old now has six goals through nine Open Cup matches.