Columbus Crew SC traveled to Chicago Fire’s Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois for the Round of 16 in the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday. Although Ethan Finlay scored his second goal of the tournament, Chicago advanced following a 2-1 win and a brace by David Accam.
Playing out of a 3-4-2-1 formation, Crew SC controlled the ball for the majority of the match, with 67.8 percent possession and an 87 percent passing accuracy over 642 total passes.
Justin Meram opened the scoring chances for the Black & Gold in the third minute, firing a shot from outside the box that fell into the hands of goalkeeper Matt Lampson.
In the seventh minute of the match, Chicago Fire forward David Accam received the ball at the top corner of the box where he curled in a low, well-placed shot that found the back of the net to give the Fire a 1-0 lead.
“Fantastic shot, great quality,” said Crew SC Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter after the match when asked about Accam’s performance.
The Ghanaian would double his team's lead in the 29th minute. With space on the right side, Chicago defender Rodrigo Ramos crossed the ball to the far post where Accam got behind the backline to finish the goal and put his team up 2-0.
The Black & Gold made two halftime substitutions with Wil Trapp and Ethan Finlay coming on. Crew SC continued controlling the possession in midfield, creating more chances than in the first 45 minutes of play.
“We came out in the second half feeling pretty good. Tempo was higher, we were moving the ball much quicker and creating chances,” Trapp said after the match.
In the 79th minute, Finlay connected with the ball outside the box which then hit the hand of a defender inside the box, leading to a penalty kick for Columbus. Confidently, Finlay stepped up and buried the spot kick with Lampson diving the opposite direction.
Crew SC was not able to net the equalizer before the final whistle, although the Black & Gold tested Chicago down the stretch.
“I’m proud of the way the guys kept battling and kept the pressure up,” said Berhalter.
With its exit from the U.S. Open Cup, Columbus Crew SC returns to League action on Sunday against Sporting Kansas City in a nationally televised contest (7:00 p.m. ET / FS1, CD102.5 FM, La Mega 103.1 FM, English radio stream on ColumbusCrewSC.com).
“Our sights now are on the League, moving up in the table. We believe we have a good team,” Berhalter said.