New England Soccer Today

Omens’ Open Cup Magic Runs Out

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

The Cinderella run authored by GPS Omens (BSSL) in U.S. Open Cup play came to an end on Wednesday, but not before giving the Rochester Rhinos (USL) all they could handle in a heartbreaking 2-1 extra time loss in a third-round clash at Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.

After holding the scoreline level for most of the game, the Rhinos avoided penalty kicks with a Sammy Edoung-Biye game winner in the 120th minute. Jalen Brown tallied the Rhinos’ first goal in the 52nd minue, while Omens leading scorer, Keith Caldwell, put the local side on the board in the 55th minute.

Wednesday’s loss came two weeks after Omens knocked out NPSL’s Boston City in the second round, and three weeks after they topped the PDL’s GPS Portland Phoenix in the first round.

After a dull first half without a shot on goal, the Rhinos drew first blood shortly after the break. Brown won a loose ball at along the left wing and dribbled it to the top of the 18-yard box before placing a perfect low shot into the corner of the goal.

The lead didn’t last long, however, as Omens earned a free kick about five yards outside of the center of the box. Caldwell made it count by curling the subsequent free kick into the top corner only three minutes after Brown’s opening goal.

The remainder of the half saw the Rhinos hold possession, but create few chances, going into extra time with only two shots on goal.

The Rhinos turned up the pressure in extra time with better possession, but were unable to break through until the very end. Omens goalkeeper Zachary Abdu-Glass stood on his head at points, stopping point-blank shots in the 100th and 119th minute.

However, the Rhinos eventually grabbed a deserved goal before the whistle when Brown latched onto a long ball, carried it into the box, and crossed it perfectly for Emoung-Biye, who headed it past Abdu-Glass.

The Rhinos’ made their case as the better team on the night, outshooting GPS Omens 21-7 and earning nine corners to Omens’ one. However, the defending BSSL champions certainly made it difficult for Rochester, only permitting four shots on target and taking the 2015 USL Champions to the brink of penalty kicks.

With the win, Rochester advances to the fourth round where they’ll face the New England Revolution, a 2016 U.S. Open Cup finalist, on Jun. 14 at Providence College in Providence, R.I.

The two sides have met six times in the competition dating back to 2003, with the Revolution holding the advantage in the series 4-0-2. Their last meeting resulted in a 2-1 Revolution victory on Jun. 25, 2014 at Brown University in Providence.

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