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Rochester stuns Crew Colorado disposes of Battery to make final.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Wednesday, September 1, 1999) -- Scott Schweitzer tied match with four minutes remaining and Tim Hardy scored the game-winning goal in injury time to lift the A-League’s Rochester Raging Rhinos to their third straight defeat of a Major League Soccer team, this time by downing the Columbus Crew 3-2 in the semifinals of the 1999 U.S. Open Cup at the before 2,109 at Virginia Beach SportsPlex tonight.

The Colorado Rapids of MLS blanked the A-League’s Charleston Battery 3-0 in the doubleheader opener and will face Rochester September 14 in Columbus, Ohio, at 8 p.m. (ET) to decide the Open Cup title in a match televised by ESPN.

Hardy collected the ball and broke in from the left flank and slotted a right-footed shot past Crew goalkeeper Mark Dougherty to decide the match.

Trailing 2-1, the Rhinos equalized in the 86th minute when Schweitzer free kick found its way through the Columbus wall on a deflection from 27 yards.

Both games were played in extremely windy and wet conditions. The nightcap saw Rochester looking to counterattack while the Crew pushed forward the majority of the game which was scoreless at half.

Midfielder Robert Warzycha put the Crew on top 1-0 in the 56th minute with free kick from 20 yards that beat Rochester goalkeeper Pat Onstad.

Rochester tied the game at 1-1 on a Darren Tilley header in the 68th minute after midfielder Tommy Tanner played a cross in from the right flank to the far post.

Striker Brian West put Columbus up 2-1 nine minutes later. Ansil Elcock crossed the ball in from the left flank and found West streaking to the ball and push it past Onstad.

In the first game, striker Jorge Dely Valdes scored twice after intermission, while goalkeeper Ian Feuer made four saves to earn the shutout to put the Rapids in the final for the first time.

"Dely Valdes has scored an awful lot of goals for us this year, and most of them have won games," Colorado coach Glenn Myernick said. "That's his seventh game-winner of the season, and he has once again proven to be our go-to guy when we need a big goal . . . This was one of the most important games we will play all season, and we played like it, especially in the second half. We said at the beginning of the season that one of our major goals was to win the Open Cup, and now we are ninety minutes away from doing it."

After a scoreless first half played in a deluge the Rapids scored overran its opposition. Feuer’s stop of Nicky Spooner’s point-blank shot early in the half kept the Rapids even.

In the 55th minute, the Rapids used an intricate buildup to take a 1-0 lead. David Vaudreuil near midfield, played a ball up to Wolde Harris in the attacking third of the field. Harris then found Ross Paule racing towards goal on the left, before Paule slid a pass across to Dely Valdes on the right, just outside the top of the penalty area.

The Rapids’ leading scorer faked a shot with his right foot, before cutting the ball back to his left, past a defender. Dribbling to the left, Dely Valdes then fired a low, left-footed shot back to the right, past a diving keeper Dusty Hudock, skimming off the inside of the right post before settling in the net.

In the 83d minute, Harris collected a loose ball at the top of the box and sent a pass that set up Paul Bravo for a strong finish to make it 2-0.

Three minutes later, it was Bravo who made the great set-up. Marquis White hit a through-ball behind the defense to Bravo on the run. He carried down the center of the field, and as Hudock came out to challenge, Bravo deftly knocked the ball to his left to an absolutely unmarked Dely Valdes for an easy tally.

Rochester Rhinos 3, Columbus Crew 2

Lineups: Columbus - ark Dougherty, Mike Clark, Thomas Dooley, Mike Lapper, Todd Yeagley, Brian West (Ubusuku Abukusumo 81), Robert Warzycha, Ansil Elcock, Jeff Cunningham (Andy Williams 75), Stern John, Brian McBride; Rochester - Pat Onstad, Tim Hardy, Scott Schweitzer, Andrew Restrepo, Mali Walton (Mike Kirmse, 80), Bill Sedgewick, Tommy Tanner, Mauro Biello, Yari Allnutt, Nate Daligcon (Doug Miller, 76), Darren Tilley.

Columbus - Warzycha (unassisted) 56;
Rochester - Tilley (Tanner) 68;
Columbus - West (Elcock ) 77;
Rochester - Schweitzer (unassisted) 86;
Rochester - Hardy (unassisted) 90+.

Shots: Columbus 10, Rochester 15. Saves: Columbus 3, Rochester 4. Fouls: Columbus 25, Rochester 18. Offside: Columbus 1, Rochester 1. Corner kicks: Columbus 4, Rochester 3. Yellow card cautions: Columbus - Yeagley 65, John 80; Rochester - Schweitzer 20, Tanner 28, Restrepoh 83.

Referee: Noel Kenny. Referee's assistants: Craig Lowry, George Vergara. Attendance: 2,109 at Virginia Beach (Va.) SportsPlex. Weather: Windy, rainy.

Colorado Rapids 3, Charleston Battery 0

Lineups: Colorado - Ian Feuer, David Vaudreuil, Marcelo Balboa, Peter Vermes, Tim Martin, Kevin Anderson (Darren Sawatzky 86), Paul Bravo, Matt McKeon (Tahj Jakins 89), Ross Paule; Jorge Dely Valdes, Wolde Harris (Marquis White 87); Charleston - Dusty Hudock, Dean Sewell, Nicky Spooner, Gilbert Jean Baptiste, John Wilson, Todd Miller (Derick Brownell 86), John Limniatis, Eddie Rodriguez (Rashad Miller 74), Ivailo Ilarionov (Scott Thelen 86), Paul Conway, Mike Burke.

Colorado - Dely Valdes (Paule, Harris) 55;
Colorado - Bravo (Harris) 82;
Colorado Dely Valdes (Bravo, White) 87.

Shots: Colorado 14, Charleston 12. Saves: Colorado 4, Charleston 9. Fouls: Colorado 12, Charleston 17. Offside: Colorado 5, Charleston 5. Corner kicks: Colorado 3, Charleston 10. Yellow card cautions: Colorado - Bravo 77; Charleston - T. Miller 38, R. Miller 78.

Referee: Andrew Barnes. Referee's assistants: Nate Clements, Bill Dittmer. Attendance: 2,109 at Virginia Beach (Va.) SportsPlex. Weather: Windy, rainy.

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