The Columbus Crew were defeated by the Richmond Kickers in front of 1,845 die-hard fans at Crew Stadium last night, 2-1. With the win, Richmond moves on to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup, and Columbus is out of the competition. Richmond is the only non-MLS team to make it to the quarterfinals this year. They also won $10,000 for being the farthest advancing third division team in this year’s tournament.
The Kickers scored the first goal of the game in the 20th minute. Former Crew player Stanley Nyazamba gained possession of the ball and passed to Nozomi Hiroyama. Hiroyama dribbled at right back Korey Veeder and cut back inside on the left side of the box. His bending right-footed shot beat Crew goalie Andy Gruenebaum at his far post.
Cole Grossman scored the equalizer for Columbus in the 37th minute. Fellow rookie Justin Meram dribbled into the box on the right side. His cross found Grossman unmarked, and he finished the play off nicely to make the game 1-1.
The first half ended all tied up. For the second half, the Nordecke made the move to the south corner of the stadium (and the goal the Crew were now attacking), becoming the Südecke.
The major turning point of the game happened in the 67th minute. Danny O’Rourke, playing his first game all season, received a red card for a foul on Ryan Heins, leaving Columbus with only 10 men for the last 20 minutes or so.
The game seemed destined for overtime. But in the 85th minute, the Kickers broke the deadlock. Edson Elcock crossed the ball into the box. Forward Matthew Delicate made a diving header that redirected the ball back the way it came, beating Gruenebaum.
The Crew had one last opportunity to tie the game. In stoppage time, Bernardo Anor’s free kick found it’s way to the Kicker’s goal line after many deflections. Richmond cleared the ball as the final whistle blew, leaving Crew players begging the referee to give a hand ball.
The Crew play next at Dallas this Saturday, July 2nd. Richmond will play against Sporting Kansas City in the quarterfinals of the USOC on July 12th.
Columbus: Andy Gruenebaum – Korey Veeder (Andy Iro, 88’), Eric Gehrig, Kevin Burns, Danny O’Rourke – Santiago Prim (Tommy Heinemann, 59’), Robbie Rogers (Bernardo Anor, 87’), Cole Grossman, Dejan Rusmir – Justin Meram, Jeff Cunningham.
Richmond: Ronnie Pascale – Sascha Gorres, Henry Kalungi, William Yomby, David Hertel – Luke Vercollone, Jamel Wallace, Nozomi Hiroyama (Edson Elcock, 54’), Ryan Heins – Matthew Delicate – Stanley Nyazamba (Shaka Bangura, 78’).