A 2-2 draw at the end of 120 minutes saw nine-man Rochester New York FC and FC Motown head to a shootout to declare a victor in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, where the hometown side edged the visitors 4-3 on Wednesday night.
RNY FC goalkeeper Caique Santos, who was subbed on in the 120th minute, made three crucial saves in the shootout to help his side advance to the fourth round of the United States' longest-serving soccer tournament.
A goal and an assist from Pedro Dolabella, a Marshall University product, helped RNY FC to a two-goal lead at one point, but his efforts were not enough to fend off FC Motown's comeback to force extra time.
Forward Joe Fala produced the moment of magic for the NPSL side, two minutes before the final whistle.
RNY FC had to battle a numbers disadvantage in the second half after Lamar Batista earned a second yellow in the 51st minute, and ultimately found itself down two men in the 85th when Dobella was issued a straight red.
An RNY FC penalty kick in the 78th minute could have slammed the door shut in regulation time, but FC Motown goalkeeper David Grexcek stood tall to deny Wilterlynd Inalien and keep his side alive.
Dolabella was lively before being sent off and was responsible for opening the scoring in the 22nd minute. The strike served as his 2022 account opener across all competitions.
Assisting on the second goal, Dolabella and RNY FC doubled their lead in the 38th minute with a lovely team goal. Teenage playmaker Rayo found Dolabella in the box, who laid off a sizzling one-touch ball to Inalien, who tapped the ball home into the back of the net.
FC Motown responded nearly immediately, however, finding the back of the net through their captain Dilly Duka in the 40th minute.
Fala’s equalizer in the 93rd minute sent the match into extra time, however, with no goals from either side during the two 15-minute-periods, the winner was to be decided from the penalty spot.
The longest-serving male soccer competition in the United States, the Open Cup is a historic and monumental tournament with opportunities for all playing levels, featuring amateur and professional teams going head-to-head for a chance at glory. That glory is rewarded with a trophy, $300,000 cash, and an automatic bid in next season's Concacaf Champions League.
RNY FC will next be seen in MLS NEXT Pro play, hosting its home opener against NYCFC II on Saturday, April 23.