Touray’s Islanders eliminated from US Open Cup
After shocking Sainey Nyassi’s New England Revolution and the New York Red Bulls in dramatic fashion to earn a US Open Cup quarterfinal date with the Union, Sainey Touray’s Harrisburg City Islanders discovered a little more magic at PPL Park.
Sainey Touray missed the game due to an injury and it was just not enough to keep their tournament run alive. Despite ripping off two goals in the span of two minutes to cut into Philadelphia’s early three-goal lead, the City Islanders were overmatched for most of the night, dropping a 5-2 decision to the suddenly surging Union in a matchup between affiliate clubs.
The home team booked their place in the semifinals, thanks in large part to a dominating first-half performance and some early defensive miscues from a Harrisburg side that had just returned from grueling back-to-back games in Orlando and Charleston.
Freddy Adu opened up the scoring in the sixth minute with a penalty-kick goal after Harrisburg’s Stephen Basso got his hand on a Lionard Pajoy cross in the box. Basso was also hurt on the play, leaving the game with Union 2012 supplemental draft pick Tom Brandt coming on in his place.
Three minutes later, the USL-Pro visitors made another terrible defensive mistake when Dustin Bixler’s header fell in the path of a streaking Jack McInerney, whose easy finish put the Union up by a pair of goals. In the 29th minute, Philly padded their lead as Pajoy made three sharp touches in the box and then uncorked another simple finish after receiving a well-placed cross from left back Gabriel Farfan.
But even after looking completely overwhelmed in the first half, Harrisburg stormed back to make sure the game wasn’t a blowout. In the 52nd and 54th minutes, Brian Ombiji and Morgan Langley scored back-to-back goals, with forward Yann Ekra assisting on both.
But the Union served up a convincing response to their ex-mates when second-half sub Antoine Hoppenot drew a penalty kick and Pajoy netted the ensuing PK. It was the second straight game in which Hoppenot was fouled in the box and Pajoy provided the finish.
The red-hot rookie also scored the game-winner against D.C. United in the Union’s last US Open Cup win. Another second-half substitute, Gabriel Gomez, completed the scoring with an 81st-minute chip over Harrisburg goalkeeper Nick Noble.
Before continuing their US Open Cup run, the Union take on Macoumba Kandji’s Houston Dynamo while Sainey Touray’s Islanders will take on the Rochester Rhinos.
Last Updated (Saturday, 30 June 2012 17:40)