The Chicago Fire traveled to take on Columbus Crew SC in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. These two teams have been frequent opponents in recent years. Not only that, but they are Eastern Conference rivals.
Columbus Crew SC Drops Wild Penalty Shootout, Sees 2018 U.S. Open Cup Campaign End
Columbus would start the attack early with Cristian Martinez releasing a shot from the elbow of the 18-yard box. The shot had potential, but keeper Richard Sanchez was there to parry the ball out for a corner kick.
Martinez’s Second Try
Martinez would get a second chance to put Columbus up on the board first when his shot went past Sanchez and into the back of the net for the opening goal in the 10th minute of play.
— Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) June 6, 2018
Goalkeeper Logan Ketterer — who got his first start for Columbus — made a huge save later in the first half to keep the 1-0 lead intact for the Black and Gold.
Chicago would grab the equalizer late in the second half, with Nemanja Nikolic getting the easy tap-in past Ketterer to give hope for the men in red.
The second half saw little to no action. Both teams gave up easy turnovers and easy chances for goals. Neither converted.
There was also a lot of cautions handed out in the second half.
As time was winding down, emotions started to heat up and the aggression got more intense. But that wouldn’t help lift either team for the go-ahead goal.
After the regulation period, the score was still tied 1-1. Two 15-minute halves would help decide the winner.
Nikolic grabbed his second of the night in the second half of stoppage time converting an Aleksander Katai cross and hammering the ball into the back of the gaping net.
Minutes later, Adam Jahn was the hero yet again as his header off of a Martinez cross was deflected into the back of the net, making the score 2-2.
Big moment in a Knockout game❓
Need a goal❓
— Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) June 7, 2018
The 30 minutes also didn’t decide the winner.
Wild Penalty Shootout
Nikolic, who finished the game with a brace, missed the Fire’s first spot kick. His penalty attempt would hit the crossbar, giving Columbus a small advantage.
Both teams would exchange goals, with Luis Argudo adding a little flare with his panenka attempt past Sanchez.
Kicks later, Martinez pulled off his own panenka into the back of the net, but had a little scare with the fans as it looked to go over the bar.
The shootout would finally come down to the keepers, Sanchez kicking first and his attempt finding the back of the net.
It was then up to Ketterer who had all the pressure on his shoulders. A goal would send the shootout to the top in the order in which players kicked.
His attempt hit the post and out. Chicago would advance 10-9 on penalties.