The US Open Cup has a bit of a reputation for being the tournament where anything can happen, usually resulting in some upsets that no one would see coming. Last night’s fixture between the PDL’s Reading United and NASL’s New York Cosmos helped uphold that reputation.
New York’s quality seemed to be on display early on as Kalif Alhassan, who for my money was the Cosmos best player, found the back of the net on a sweet finish in the 12th minute to put the Cosmos up 1-0. New York didn’t hesitate to put pressure on the PDL side either, with various attacking players including former Bethlehem Steel midfielder Walter Restrepo getting some solid looks on goal that had Reading on the back foot early on.
That’s when things got kind of wonky for the Cosmos. Reading figured out the Cosmos defense in the 34th minute with Paul Marie (pictured above) sliding a goal that just beat Jimmy Maurer near post to tie the game at 1-1. Before the shock had worn off from the first goal, Marco Micaletto capitalized on a botched clearance to double Reading’s lead and the Cosmos misery to make it 2-1. Reading up a goal on the Cosmos at the half would be weird enough, but Frantdzy Pierrot (your new favorite soccer name) pickpocketed the ball from David Ochieng and blasted a third past a shell-shocked Maurer to put Reading up 3-1 at the end of the half.
The second half was your usual time management affair, the Cosmos had most of the chances, and the inclusion of Ayoze which moved Walter Restrepo out wide looked to benefit both men. The Cosmos gave Reading a scare with a 63rd minute goal via a diving header by Danny Szetela probably gave many of the fans in attendance a sinking feeling. That being said, it wasn’t to be. NYC had plenty of chances, good ones at that, but the ball seemingly had an aversion to the back of the net multiple times.
Reading keep the magic of the Open Cup alive, defeating the Cosmos before the Round of 16 since 2014 and will host Harrisburg City Islanders in the third round.