June 24, 2014
By Charles Cuttone
GETTING A GIFT
Union advance with 2-1 win over Cosmos
CHESTER, Pa.---The Philadelphia Union advanced to the Quarter finals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 2-1 win over the New York Cosmos in a foul marred overtime game on Tuesday night that was officiated more like a Sunday beer league game than a professional competition.
|Union netminder Andre Blake picks off a late Cosmos cross to preserve the Union's 2-1 US Open Cup win Tuesday at PPL Park.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The Union got the overtime goal in the 115th minute on a gift from referee Ismail Elfath, who spent much of the night watching something other than what was happening on the field, after Jimmy Ockford collided with Maurice Edu in the area. After Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer got a yellow for dissent, Sebastien Le Toux buried the penalty kick into the lower left corner of the net.
Earlier in overtime, Elfath had failed to call what should been a penalty against the Union, and then he lost control of the match in the 117th minute when a fight between several players broke out in the far right corner. After the fracas was broken up, the Cosmos' Ayoze and the Unionís Michael Lahoud were both given red cards. Then Ockford got a red card, leaving the Cosmos with nine men.
The Union move onto play the Rochester Rhinos of USL Pro or the New England Revolution at PPL Park on July 8.
Much of the regulation portion of the game was a non-event other than a two goal outburst that came in less than a 60 second span.
The Cosmos took the lead in the 56th minute when Danny Szetela played the ball out wide to the right. Union goalkeeper Andre Blake came off his line almost to the corner of the six yard box, and Alessandro Noselli lofted the ball past him.
Just 27 seconds later, the Union equalized. Andrew Wenger brought the ball down the right side then sent it across the 18 yard box. The ball eluded a Cosmos defender and Sebastien Le Toux was there to slot it in. It was Le Touxís 11th all-time U.S. Open Cup goal.
Le Toux had the Unionís first chance of the game in the 10th minute, off a corner kick, but he sent his shot over the bar.
In the 24th minute, Wenger had a pair of Cosmos defenders beat on a breakaway but he inexplicably rushed his shot and sent it wide left.
The Unionís Cristian Maidana forced a big save out of Maurer in the 41st minute, juking around a defender in the area, and getting off a shot that the New York Ďkeeper dove to stop. The ball rebounded out to Amobi Okugo near the 18, but he sent his shot wide to the left.
The Cosmos had a brilliant first half chance in the 28th minute after Danny Cruz was given a yellow card near midfield on the far right side. Hunter Freeman teed up a free kick from that distance, and Blake had to tap it over the bar.
The equalizer seemed to energize the Union, who put pressure on the Cosmos defense. In the 71st minute, second half sub Leo Fernandes teed up a shot from 30 yards right at Maurer. Three minutes later, Okugo was open in the area but Roversio slid in front of his shot to block it.
The Cosmos came close to putting it away in the 110th minute following a corner kick, when Dane Murphy snapped a header just off target.
Noselli was given a yellow card in the 112th minute when he tried to get in the way of Blake as he made a goal kick.