Matt Delicate scored on a diving header in the 85th minute to lift Richmond to a 2-1 upset of the short-handed Columbus Crew in a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup round of 16 match Tuesday in Crew Stadium.
Richmond, of the USL Pro league, will face Sporting Kansas City, who beat the USL Premier Development League’s Chicago Fire Premier, in the quarterfinals. The match will be July 12.
Delicate got the winner off a 35-yard perfect lead pass by second-half substitute Edson Elcock. Delicate dove from 6 yards out and placed the ball into the upper right netting.
The Crew had a chance on the last play of the game to tie when Bernardo Anor’s corner kick found the head of Tommy Heinemann. Delicate appeared to deflect the ball with his shoulder and it went to the arm of teammate Henry Kalungi on the goal line.
Columbus unsuccessfully appealed for a handball as the whistle sounded Heinemann earlier had one-timer off a Robbie Rogers goal kick denied by Ronnie Pascale in the 80th minute. It turned out to be a pivotal play.
Also pivotal was a red card to Danny O’Rourke in the 67th minute for his retaliation hit on Ryan Heins near the right touch line. The incident occurred a minute after Delicate missed by inches from breaking a 1-all tie when his header hit the right post.
Richmond broke through first on a 20th minute strike by Nozomi Hiroyama. Former Crew forward Stanley Nyazamba started the scoring play for Richmond by shoving Dejam Rusmir off the ball and spotting Hiroyama near the top left of the penalty area.
Hiroyama did the rest with a move to the left and a cutback to shirk the defender before sending a bender into the upper netting from 18 yards.
Columbus got the equalizer when Cole Grossman completed a six-pass sequence in beautiful fashion. He was left unmarked after Justin Meram dribbled into the box on the right, drawing three Kickers. His diagonal ball was spot on and Grossman ran onto it and fired with his right foot into the far corner in the 37th minute.
Grossman and Meram were among five rookies in the starting lineup for the Crew. The others were right back Korey Veeder, central defender Eric Gehrig and right midfielder Santiago Prim.
There was a veteran presence as well. Andy Gruenebaum, who led the Crew to the final last season before losing at Seattle, was in goal while O’Rourke made his season debut after undergoing knee surgery in November. He was at left back.
Rogers (pictured above; photo courtesy of Skyler Schmitt/TheCrew.com) returned from the US team that lost in the Gold Cup final Saturday to Mexico. His last action was a pre-tournament game June 4 vs. Spain.
Jeff Cunningham, who has yet to score in MLS play this season, keeping him a goal shy of tying the league career mark of 133 set by Jaime Moreno, was up top with Meram and nearly put the Crew ahead in the 7th minute but his header was stopped by Pascale.
Pascale was in goal for Richmond back in 2002 when the Crew won 3-0 in the only other meeting between the two clubs. The Crew went on to win that year’s Open Cup for the organization’s first trophy.
The Open Cup has been contested since 1914 and is open to all teams at the pro and amateur levels.
RICH – Nozomi Hiroyama (Stanley Nyazamba) 20’
COL – Cole Grossman (Justin Meram) 37’
RICH – Matt Delicate (Edson Elcock) 85’
RICH – David Hertel (caution: reckless foul0 35’
COL – Danny O’Rourke (red card: serious foul play) 67’
RICH – David Bulow (caution: reckless foul)
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’).
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.
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Referee's Assistants: John Safar, Britton Maier 4th Official: Saintil Francillon
Weather: 81 and sunny