ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Saint Louis FC won 1-0 with a dramatic stoppage time winner over FC Cincinnati in front of 4,033 fans at World Wide Technology Soccer Park to advance to the Quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup.
The lone goal was scored by club captain Sam Fink in the 93rd minute as he was found at the back post by Lewis Hilton off a corner kick to see Saint Louis FC defeat an MLS opponent for the second time and advance to the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals for the first time in club history.
The first half saw Saint Louis FC create a majority of the scoring chances even though FC Cincinnati dominated possession. The first chance arrived in the 7th minute as Guy Abend was found at the top of the box after Paris Gee had a mazy run in the box but his shot went over the crossbar. Oscar Umar then nearly scored from close range in the 10th minute as he got a head on a Russell Cicerone cross but it was caught by FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton. Gee nearly scored the opener in the 16th minute as he cut inside the defense and let loose with a shot but it hit the near post and bounced back off Tyton for a corner kick. The home side would continue to press and Cicerone had a header at the back post that went just wide and Hilton had a great effort off the half-volley that was saved by Tyton in the 33rd minute to see both side remain level at 0-0 going into the halftime break.
The second half saw FC Cincinnati employ a high press and they created the most danger off turnovers and shots from outside the box. The first notable chance did not come until the 73rd minute, however, as STLFC goalkeeper Tomas Gomez was called to make a save on a shot from substitute Leonardo Bartone. STLFC would respond on the counter and Cicerone pulled the ball back for Abend but his first-time effort went wide in the 76th minute. Just as the game looked destined for extra time, Cicerone received the ball at the top of the box and he fired a shot that was tipped out by Tyton for a corner. The subsequent corner will go down in Saint Louis FC history forever as Hilton swung the ball in to find Fink at the back post and his header went beyond Tyton in the 93rd minute to seal the victory and book Saint Louis FC’s spot in the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals against defending MLS Cup champions Atlanta United.
“I think it was a deserved win, honestly,” said STLFC Head Coach Anthony Pulis. “Overall, the guys were outstanding tonight and they deserve it. They are a fantastic group to work with, so to see the joy on their faces and delight for the fans and everyone for the club, it was another memorable night and I hope everyone enjoys it because they deserve it.”