Tonight’s most compelling American soccer match was a little tricky to find, but it was well worth your investment. In the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup—which pits teams at all levels of American soccer against each other in a single-elimination format—FC Cincinnati beat the Miami 1-0 off a Baye Djiby Fall goal in the 68th minute, keeping the USL club’s improbable run alive.
FCC keeper Mitch Hildebrandt was also once again a hero. After he stopped three of four shootout shots in Cincy’s upset of Chicago, his late-game save on Miami’s game-winner from last round, Kwadwo Poku, was a heart-in-mouth moment for Cincinnati supporters. Again, Hildebrandt didn’t crack under pressure, and he has now gone 510 minutes without allowing a goal in this competition.
Either Cincy or Miami, who each beat MLS teams in the previous round, would have been the first non-MLS squad to make the semifinals since 2011. Nothing against Miami, also a compelling underdog, but the prospect of seeing a raucous FCC crowd at Nippert Stadium host MLS’s New York/New Jersey MetroStars is mouthwatering, especially after the instant classic that was Cincinnati’s fifth-round home game against Chicago. That match will happen on August 15.