Orlando City SC celebrates its Open Cup win. (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)
ORLANDO, Fla. – New York City FC’s dream of winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is over.
City was eliminated in the quarterfinals, losing to Orlando City SC in penalty kicks, 5-4, after playing to a 1-1 tie in 120 minutes of regulation and extratime at Orlando City Stadium Wednesday night.
The two sides battled to a 1-1 draw after regulation, with Chris Mueller scoring his first Open Cup goal in the 61st minute. The visitors equalized late in stoppage time by Maxi Moralez to force the match into extratime.
“Was a pity because when you lose on penalties,” NYCFC head coach Dome Torrent said. “I think it’s my opinion that tonight soccer was not fair with us. It is what it is, sometimes the soccer is something like that. I think we played much better than Orlando. Just in the 15 minutes of the second half they played better than us, but in the end, soccer is if you are able to score. We played much better, but it’s not enough for us.”
The Lions got on the board after Sebas Méndez won the ball at midfield and played Nani on the left wing. The Portuguese midfielder took it down the left side before crossing a ball into the penalty area. His cross found the head of Mueller at the far post, who hammered it home for the finish.
Six minutes into stoppage time, Jesús Medina sent a ball into the Lions’ 18-yard box from just past midfield that bounced in the area before Moralez stabbed at the loose ball for the late equalizer.
After a scoreless extra time period, the two clubs were forced into a penalty shootout, where the Lions prevailed 5-4 after six rounds.
Goalkeeper Adam Grinwis made two saves in the shootout, including the game-winner when he guessed right and saved Maxime Chanot’s strike to the left side, sending the Lions through to the semifinals for the first time in their history.
The Lions will face Atlanta United FC in the semifinal round on Aug. 6-7. A draw to determine the semifinal hosts and the priority order for hosting the final will take place Thursday at 2 p.m. ET.