Ex-Fire forward Collins John pushes Pittsburgh to U.S. Open Cup date in Chicago
The Pittsburgh Riverhounds earned their first win of 2014, but needed extra time to down local Chicago side RWB Adria 3-2 at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Penn. Wednesday night.
With the win, the Riverhounds move on to a fourth round U.S. Open Cup date against the Chicago Fire on Wednesday, June 18 at Toyota Park.
After trading close blows through the first half hour of the match the hosts found the back of the net when former Colorado Rapids defender Danny Earls hit home in the 40th minute. Just two minutes later, the visitors equalized as Christian Dragoi found Derek Huffman to take the teams into halftime tied 1-1.
An upset began to brew just past the hour mark as Adria forward Taylor Bond placed his free kick past Hunter Gilstrap to give RWB a 2-1 lead in the 62nd minute.
Things didn’t look good for Pittsburgh to grab an equalizer until former Fire forward Collins John placed a right-footed volley past Igor Dimov to sent the match to extra time.
After a scoreless first frame of overtime, Pittsburgh began to pour on the pressure as Adria played for penalties. In the 110th minute, John put another effort off the cross bar before Jhonny Arteagha found the back of the net two minutes later to give the Riverhounds a 3-2 home win.
The victory is the first for interim head coach and player Nikola Katic after former Fire player and longtime Pittsburgh manager Justin Evans was dismissed earlier this season.
The win sets up the fourth round Open Cup date with the Fire on June 18 at Toyota Park. Season Ticket Holders can begin taking advantage of the U.S. Open Cup Season Ticket on the date while individual tickets are now on sale.
The matchup will also mean the return of Collins John to Chicago. The one-time Fulham striker made 19 competitive appearances, tallying three goals and one assist for the Fire in 2010. Since departing the Fire at the end of that season, the Dutch forward has bounced from Gabala (Azerbaijan), Mes Sarcheshmeh (Iran), Barnet (England) and Piast Gliwice (Poland) before landing in Pittsburgh this season.
The match will mark the second-ever meeting between the two clubs as the Fire defeated the Riverhounds on July 24, 2001 in a memorable 3-2 extra time win in that year’s Open Cup quarterfinals. The match was made famous by on-loan player Amos Magee’s chested extra time winner at Wheaton College’s McCully Soccer Field.
There were three upsets on the night as USASA's PSA Elite played to a scoreless draw with LA Galaxy II before dispatching the USL PRO team 3-1 on penalty kicks. To the east, the PDL's Orlando City U-23s played to a 2-2 draw at the Charleston Battery before defeating the perennial USL power 12-11 on penalties. To the south, the Orlando City USL PRO side easily dispatched NASL's Tampa Bay Rowdies 4-1 in St. Petersburgh, Fla.
In matches of Fire interest, NASL's Indy Eleven won their first ever U.S. Open Cup match, downing the Dayton Dutch Lions 5-2 at home while Minnesota United FC took a slight 1-0 decision over the Des Moines Menace. Indy and Minnesota will move on to face the Columbus Crew and Sporting KC respectively in Round 4 and when Round 5 pairings come out sometime Thursday or Friday, don't be surprised to see the Fire/Riverhounds winner matched up with one of these two groupings.
For all the scores and coverage of Open Cup Round Four, visit TheCup.US.
WATCH: Amos Magee's Legendary Chicago Fire Goal