U.S. Open Cup
Charleston, Richmond bounce MLS's Dynamo, Galaxy from third round.
| Stephen Armstrong (right) celebrates his winning overtime goal which sent the Charleston Battery past the Houston Dynamo in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
-- Charleston Battery web site photo --
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Tuesday, July 10, 2007) -- Midfielder Stephen Armstrong put away a rebound of his own penalty kick early in a second overtime period to send the Charleston Battery to a 1-0 triumph over the Houston Dynamo tonight in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Blackbaud Stadium.
Charleston will host FC Dallas of MLS August 7 at Blackbaud Stadium in the quarterfinals.
Charleston was one of two teams from the second-tier United Soccer Leagues First Division to upset Major League Soccer clubs tonight in the Open Cup. The host Richmond Kickers used a goal by striker David Bulow midway through the first half to down the Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0.
In other third-round action tonight, the host Colorado Rapids of MLS defeated the California Victory of the USL First Division 3-1 and the visiting New England Revolution of MLS edged the USL-1's Rochester Raging Rhinos 3-2. Last night in Frisco, Texas, MLS's FC Dallas eliminated the Atlanta Silverbacks of USL-1 4-3 in seven rounds of penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw.
Against Houston, the Battery was given a penalty kick after reserve forward Ian Bennett turned Dynamo midfielder Mike Chabala 12 yards from goal, only to go down from contact between the two.
"They were holding us all night long," Bennett told the Charleston Post and Courier. "I wasn't sure we'd get a call like that against an MLS team, but (referee Shane Moody) had called a pretty even game up to that point."
Dynamo goalkeeper Zach Wells flew to his left to make a save on Armstrong's penalty kick, deflecting the shot off the goalpost, only to have the ball roll cross the goal-mouth. Armstrong, whose MLS career ended in 2005 having played 71 regular-season matches for three clubs over four seasons, was first to the rebound and slammed it home from close range in the 108th minute.
"I changed my mind at the last second and I shouldn't have," Armstrong said of his PK to the Post and Courier. "I was going somewhere else, but (Wells) guessed right and made a good save. I thought the ball might spin back into the net, but I wasn't going to take any chances. I knew I needed to get there and put it in."
The temperature neared 100 degrees at kickoff and Armstrong nearly provided the Battery a lead in the fourth minute, exploiting a Houston mistake to carry into the box alone, but Wells made the first of several key saves in the match. In the 37th minute, Wells dove to his right to turn away a 20-yard blast from midfielder Mike Richardson.
Houston coach Domenic Kinnear, who used many reserves in this match, grew impatient early and brought in Stuart Holden, a recent hero in the league schedule, in the 33rd minute. Holden nearly put the Dynamo ahead nine minutes later with a 25-yard blast, but Battery keeper Dusty Hudock went sprawling to tip the right-footed shot over the crossbar.
"We came out strong, we moved the ball and we defended very well," Battery coach Mike Anhaeuser said. "Everyone stepped it up a notch and that's what you have to do against an MLS team. I know that (Houston) didn't have all of their players here, but that doesn't matter, No matter who you're playing against, you still have to create the chances. It's the Open Cup and we're moving on to the next round."
In the 44th minute, Hudock came up big again, denying Houston midfielder Nick Hartzke from point-blank range before stopping a 20-yard attempt by midfielder Corey Ashe in time added on.
Ashe left the match with a sprained ankle in the 62nd minute after a rough tackle and the club said he is doubtful for Thursday night's MLS visit to the Chicago Fire.
Both Wells and Hudock were strong in the second half, keeping the game scoreless and forcing two mandatory 15-minute extra period. Twice, Wells came out to take balls off the feet of Battery attackers, while Hudock robbed Dynamo reserve midfielder Eddie Robinson's header off a Hartzke freekick.
The heat took its toll and pace of the game slowed in overtime before Bennett made the run that turned the game. Houston had a final chance in the 110th minute when striker Paul Dalglish was robbed from 12 yards out when Hudock dove to his left to parry the shot away.