Chris Pontius, Ilsinho Push Union Over Red Bulls in U.S. Open Cup Round of 16

CHESTER, Pa. — The Union’s U.S. Open Cup magic continues. 

Extending their quest for a third consecutive Open Cup title run, the determined Union came from behind to topple the New York Red Bulls, 2-1, in the Round of 16 on Wednesday night at Talen Energy Stadium.

As victors, the Union advance to the Open Cup quarterfinals, where they will play visitors when they face either the New England Revolution or New York Cosmos on July 20. With the win, the Union’s Open Cup record extends to 10-2-0 over the last three tournaments.

Wednesday was a match of two completely different halves for the Union. 

The hosts were utterly dominated by the Red Bulls' high press in the first half, getting outshot, 13-1, and trailing, 1-0, when a free kick played into the box deflected off Chris Pontius and right to Mike Grella. The forward powered his shot to the right of Andre Blake for the 17th-minute lead.

But the Union came out of the half a different team. In the 55th minute, a perfectly played through ball from Ilsinho found streaking Pontius, who split the Red Bulls' defense, gathered the ball and fired off a right-footed shot past Meara to tie the match at 1-1.

With momentum leaning heavily in the Union’s favor, the pair connected again in the 60th minute. Off the rush, Tranquillo Barnetta slung a right wing pass to Ilsinho, who, while on the move and with the Red Bulls' defense closing, launched a cross that landed at the feet of Pontius, who one-timed it home for the 2-1 Union lead.

The match unraveled in stoppage time when Union assistant coach Mike Sorber was ejected for tossing a ball onto the field of play. Moments later, Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch was ejected for arguing a call. On his way out, Marsch picked up two game balls from the scorekeeper’s desk and chucked them at the Union bench, before storming off.

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