D.C. United's Hamdi Salihi celebrates his 24th minute go ahead goal against the Richmond Kickers in U.S. Open Cup play. Photo: Matt Mathai.

United defeats Kickers to advance in Open Cup

D.C. United defeated their nearest rival, the Richmond Kickers, 2-1 to advance to the next rounds of the U.S. Open Cup. United needed a extra time play to dismiss the Kickers from the 98 year old tournament with a strike from Marcelo Saragosa in the 107th minute of play.

Hamdi Salihi gave United the lead in the 24th minute of play after receiving a brilliant through ball from teammate Maicon Santos. Salihi collected the ball in the middle of the box and rounded the Richmond’s kicker to slot the ball in the back of the net.

The hosts managed to even it up shortly before the break when they were awarded a penalty kick. Kicker forward Christopher Kwame Agorsor was brought down in the box from behind by United’s Marcelo Saragosa. The ensuing kick was slotted past D.C. United’s Joe Willis by Zimbabwean International Stanley Nyazamba

Saragosa made up for his blunder late in extra time after the ball fell to his feet from a Branko Boskovic corner kick.

D.C. will now face the Philadelphia Union who defeated the  USL PRO side, the Rochester Raging Rhinos, by a score of 3-0 on Tuesday, June 5 at the Maryland SoccerPlex at 7:30pm.

United has won the U.S. Open Cup twice, once  in 1996 when they earned the coveted “double” and again in 2008. Last year, D.C. United beat the Philadelphia Union before falling to New England in Open Cup play.

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