Rochester New York FC won its third-round match of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup the hard way on Wednesday night.
The MLS NEXT Pro team overcame a pair of red cards, squandered a two-goal lead and missed a late penalty kick against FC Motown.
Yet, Rochester survived to play another day in the Open Cup, winning the shootout in the sixth and sudden-death round, 4-3, after playing to a 2-2 draw at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y.
Back-up goalkeeper Caique Santos, a 6-5 Brazilian who replaced starter Phillip Ejimadu a minute into stoppage time in the second extratime, made two saves in the tie-breaker. Milan Vanacker converted the game-winner, sending his attempt to the lower left past goalkeeper David Greczek.
Nine-man Rochester played the final 35 minutes two men down and the last 69 minutes a man short after red cards to Lamar Batista (51st minute) and Pedro Dollabella (85th minute). A Rochester assistant coach also was red carded.
The game started off well for the hosts, who struck within a 17-minute span in the opening half against the National Premier Soccer League side.
Gibran Rayo dummied a pass to an onrushing Dolabella, who scored from 12 yards in the 21st minute. Rochester doubled its lead in the 38th minute off a counterattack. In an impressive one-touch sequence, Rayo, on the right side, found Dolabella with a short pass. Dolabella fed an open Wilterlynd Inalien, who scored from five yards.
Two minutes later, Motown sliced the lead in half as Dilly Duka fired home a Ryan Peterson feed from eight yards.
Rochester could have given itself some breathing room, but Greczek guessed correctly on Inalien’s penalty kick, diving to his left in the 79th minute. Two minutes into second-half stoppage time, Joe Fala rifled a shot that Ejimadu deflected off the right post. Fala, however, knocked home the equalizer to force extratime.
RNY FC will discovered its fourth-round opponent at the Open Cup draw on Thursday.
FrontRowSoccer.com editor Michael Lewis has written a new book, ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. You can learn more about it or purchase it here: