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West Chester United, VE advance to third round of U.S. Open Cup qualifying

USL of PA rivals will meet on Nov. 23 or 24

AJ Jacobs and his West Chester United teammates celebrate his first half goal against Lansdowne Bhoys in U.S. Open Cup qualifying on October 19, 2019
Photo by Matt Ralph

United Soccer League of Pennsylvania rivals West Chester United and Vereinigung Erzgebirge will meet in U.S. Open Cup qualifying for the second year in a row after both local teams advanced in games over the weekend.

The two teams faced each other in the first round of qualifying last year. West Chester United won 1-0 behind a second half goal from Matt Greer and ended up advancing through three more rounds to make the Open Cup proper for the first time since 2016.

VE knocked off another local USLPA team United German Hungarians with a pair of extra time goals at Bryn Athyn College in Huntingdon Valley on Sunday afternoon.

Sean Fahy opened the scoring in the 101st minute and Sean Peckham sealed the victory in the 114th minute. VE has back-to-back wins for the first time since the new format began in 2015 and are seeking their first U.S. Open Cup berth since 2002.

A.J. Bishop had a brace and Greer and Andreas Bartosinski each had a goal and two assists to lead West Chester United to a 4-2 win over Lansdowne Bhoys on Saturday night.

The game was West Chester’s first at home in U.S. Open Cup qualifying and the tournament proper since 2017. They played all four qualifiers and their first and second round games for the 2019 Open Cup and their first round of qualifying for 2020 on the road.

“I think our pace made a difference, our flanks and our 10, Chas (Wilson) played a great holdup game and I think our fitness was what gave us the edge tonight,” West Chester head coach Blaise Santangelo said. “We have so much respect for them as a program. They’re a really great team and we were honored to get to play them.”

Bartosinski opened the scoring with a strike from distance as he was losing his balance, but the visitors responded with a goal off a corner kick by Musa Bala Denso six minutes later. Bishop got the first of his two goals just before halftime when Bartosinski played him into the box with a diagonal pass and Bishop got beat his defender and got his shot past the keeper to make it 2-1.

Bishop stretched the lead to 3-1 after the break when Greer lofted a ball into the box he was able to beat the Lansdowne keeper to and flick in with his head.

“I saw (Greer) pick his head up and I knew he was looking for me to make a run,” Bishop said. “At that point I just needed to go up and be fierce and if I was going to get hit it was worth it.”

The goal would end up being the game-winner when Dean Dillon pulled one back for the visitors in the 89th minute but Bartosinski was able to set up Greer in front of goal for an easy finish to seal the 4-2 win moments later.

“You can’t give away goals at any level and expect to win games at any level,” Lansdowne head coach Jim Kelly said. “We’re just disappointed.”