COLUMBUS, Ohio (Tuesday, September 10, 2002) - The Columbus Crew advanced to the U.S. Open Cup Final in dramatic fashion Tuesday night at Crew Stadium, coming back from a two-goal deficit midway through the second half to defeat the Kansas City Wizards 3-2 in overtime in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal. Second-half substitute John Wilmar Perez scored the game-tying goal two minutes into second-half stoppage time, then banged in the winner 18 minutes into overtime.
With the win, Columbus advances to its second U.S. Open Cup Final in team history. The Crew will host the Los Angeles Galaxy on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m., in a match that will be televised live on FOX Sports World and FOX Sports Espanol. The Crew's flagship radio station, 103.9 The New Eagle, will also carry the game. The Crew lost in sudden-death overtime, 2-1, to Chicago in the 1998 Final at Soldier Field.
Kansas City scored once in each half to open a 2-0 lead before The Crew went to work. Red-hot Edson Buddle cut the lead in half in the 76th minute to set up Perez's heroics.
"It certainly was an entertaining game," said Crew head coach Greg Andrulis. "Not the way you draw it up, but I think our guys just showed a tremendous amount of heart and determination and never-say-die attitude."
WIZARDS: Own Goal (Chad McCarty), 2.
WIZARDS: Chris Brown (Eric Quill), 62.
CREW: Edson Buddle (Kyle Martino), 76.
CREW: John Wilmar Perez (unassisted), 92+.
CREW: John Wilmar Perez (Edson Buddle), 108.
CREW: GK-John Busch, D-Chad McCarty (Dante Washington 71), D-Brian Dunseth, D-Mike Clark (Freddy Garcia 63), D-Eric Denton, M-Duncan Oughton, M-Edson Bddle, M-Kyle Martino, M-Brian Maisonneuve (C) (John Wilmar Perez 63), F-Jeff Cunningham, F-Brian McBride (Brian West 83)
WIZARDS: GK-Tony Meola (C), D-Carey Talley, D-Peter Vermes, D-Nick Garcia, D-Chris Klein, M-Kerry Zavagnin, M-Matt McKeon (Stephen Armstrong 46), M-Eric Quill (Mike Burns 65), M-Preki, F-Davy Arnaud (Chris Brunt 87), F-Dario Fabbro (Chris Brown 59)
CREW: Edson Buddle, 10.
WIZARDS: Davy Arnaud, 16.
CREW: Kyle Martino, 42.
WIZARDS: Carey Talley, 44.
CREW: Chad McCarty, 55.
WIZARDS: Preki, 95.
Referee: Casey Frankewicz;
Referee's Assistants: Michael Kennedy (bench side), Hilario Grajeda (far side);
4th Official: Mikael Lundqvist