Reading United (PDL) 1, Christos FC (Md.) 1 (5-4 PKs)
Christos FC, last year’s U.S. Open Cup darlings, got off to a fast start, pouncing on an early Reading United turnover, Peter Caringi III got knocked down as he attempted to launch a shot from the top of the box. That earned the Baltimore-based squad a dangerous free kick opportunity, and Tyler Rudy’s take deflected off the Reading wall into the back of the net. As the half progressed, Reading’s best chance came in the 29th minute, as Aaron Molloy tried to slot home an equalizer but was denied by two well-positioned Christos defenders on the goal line.
After the break, a mishit header by Christos in its defensive half fell to the feet of Alex Lapinski, who slotted it upfield to Kieran Roberts. Once in the box, the second half substitute hit it to the right side to knot things up at one goal apiece as the squads finished regulation still deadlocked at one. The impasse continued over 30 minutes of extra time, and after a neck-and-neck shootout, Roberts scored the game-winning penalty for Reading to win 5-4. Reading will face the USL’s Richmond Kickers in the Second Round.