New Mexico United Eliminates Denver Rapids in Open Cup Upset

From U.S. Soccer

New Mexico United celebrates their penalty kick victory over the Denver Rapids MLS team
U.S. Soccer

June 10, 2019 – New Mexico United of the Division II USL Championship needed a goal in the final minute of regulation and a penalty kick shootout but the tournament debutantes scored the second upset of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round on Wednesday night in Colorado. The eight additional teams to advance to the Round of 16 of U.S. Soccer’s National Championship were all Division I Major League Soccer clubs.

The Fourth Round concludes with a final game Thursday night when Atlanta United (MLS) host the Charleston Battery (USLC) in a closed-door match at 7 p.m. ET. The game, which was originally scheduled to be played on Tuesday night, will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Before the final game, the Round of 16 Draw will be conducted Thursday morning at 10 a.m. ET. The Draw will be broadcast on U.S. Open Cup’s Twitter account @opencup.

After New Mexico had taken an early 1-0 lead, the Colorado Rapids (MLS) playing at home in Dick’s Sporting Goods Park fought back to take a 2-1 lead down to the wire. However, the Division I side had been reduced to 10 men in the 72nd minute when defender Axel Sjöberg was ejected for picking up a second yellow card and was unable to hold up against a relentless and desperate United attack that earned the tying goal in the fourth minute of injury time. After a scoreless overtime, New Mexico goalkeeper Cody Mizell played the hero in the shootout, making one stop and seeing another shot fly over his crossbar as the first-year team knocked off the first and only MLS team it has played in official competition.

While New Mexico wasn’t the only underdog to put in a good performance on the night, it was the only lower division team to advance from the nine games played on Wednesday. Elsewhere, the River City Derby between FC Cincinnati (MLS) and Louisville City FC (USLC) needed extra time to decide a winner. After a 1-1 draw in regulation, FCC’s Kekuta Manneh headed home the winner in the 103rd minute. Memphis 901 FC put in a valiant effort against Orlando City FC, but the visitors ultimately came away with a 3-1 win in Tennessee.