Richmond goalkeeper keeps the Kickers close
RICHMOND -- D.C. United overcame the heroic goalkeeping of veteran Ronnie Pascale to escape with a 2-1 overtime win over the Richmond Kickers in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup before 5,014 at Richmond City Stadium on Tuesday.
In United's first Open Cup road game since 2007, Marcelo Saragosa settled Branko Boskovic's corner kick in traffic and pounded home the game-winner in the 107th minute after Pascale made six second-half saves to keep the teams deadlocked.
Thirty-five year-old Pascale, the Kickers' oldest player and an assistant coach, was impenetrable following a Richmond penalty kick to tie the game just before halftime. After denying Josh Wolff's lunging, point-blank volley in the 55th minute, Pascale prevented Nick DeLeon's tap-in five minutes later, helped by DeLeon also pushing the rebound wide.
Andy Najar's 78th-minute drive appeared headed inside the right post before Pascale dove for the save, as was Boskovic's low drive in the 82nd before Pascale sprawled for the stop.
A short three days after a 3-2 win in league play, United opted for a first-choice pairing at striker of leading scorer Maicon Santos (7 goals) and Hamdi Salihi (4 goals) against the third-tier Kickers and was rewarded in the 24th minute. Santos tracked underneath and cut a slicing pass through the Richmond back line to an onrushing Salihi, who took a touch around Pascale and slotted it home for a 1-0 lead.
The goal sparked the Kickers, as Edson Elcock chipped just over the bar and Chris Agorsor's redirected volley missed wide off a dipping cross from Gerson Dos Santos.
Agorsor opened the door for Richmond just before the halftime whistle, fighting through one tackle in the D.C. box and going down on the second D.C. lunge, tripped up by Saragosa. Referee Kai Goodrich pointed at the spot, and Stanley Nyazamba powered his penalty kick to Joe Willis' right as the D.C. keeper went left to knot the score as the teams headed into the locker room.
With the victory, D.C. United advanced to the fourth round and will host the Philadelphia Union at Maryland SoccerPlex on June 5 at 7:30 p.m.