FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Aug. 9, 2016) – The New England Revolution relied on Je-Vaughn Watson to keep his head at the right time to reach the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal against Chicago. He scored during regulation in the Quarterfinal against Philadelphia and also thrashed home the winning penalty to arrange this match.
Watson’s awareness and composure rose to the fore once again at the ideal time. His timely contributions in front of goal continued with the decisive strike after 42 minutes to send the Revolution through to the U.S. Open Cup Final for the first time in nine years with a 3-1 victory at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday night.
“When you’re in a good spot like that and you just see the ball, you finish it,” Watson explained. “Even before I tapped it in the goal, I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s a goal again.”
The winner three minutes before halftime ultimately separated the sides and sent the Revs to the Open Cup Final for a third time. Kei Kamara opened the scoring from the spot after 16 minutes, but David Accam prodded home five minutes before halftime to draw the Fire level, setting the stage for Watson’s immediate riposte.
Teal Bunbury guaranteed safe passage with New England’s third after 85 minutes, while David Accam’s late dismissal wrapped a frustrating night for a Fire outfit on the losing end of its fourth straight Open Cup Semifinal appearance.
New England now awaits the winner of the second Semifinal between LA Galaxy and FC Dallas in Carson, Calif. on Wednesday night (7 p.m. PT, ESPN2) as it seeks to add to its lone triumph in this competition back in 2007.
Kamara handed the hosts the perfect start from the spot after 16 minutes. Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe combined on the left edge of the penalty area. Rowe collected and tempted Rodrigo Ramos to clip him as he turned away. Referee Edwin Jurisevic pointed to the spot and paved the way for Kamara to slot the opener past Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson.
Teal Bunbury pushed his effort just wide of the post from a Kamara pass just after the half-hour, but Chicago posed a lively threat on the break through Accam and Michael de Leeuw. The duo combined five minutes before halftime to draw the Fire level after the Revs failed to clear their lines. De Leeuw managed to persevere on the edge of the penalty area and prod through for Accam to register his fifth goal of the competition.
Accam’s equalizer stood for two minutes before Watson once again played his part in the Open Cup. Chris Tierney curled a menacing corner kick toward the near post for Kamara to twist toward goal. Razvan Cocis diverted the goalbound header through the goal area for the crashing Watson to nod home from close range.
“I love that we just responded well,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said. “We’ve had a pretty tough week in terms of putting our head down [after the 4-1 defeat at Toronto FC on Saturday]. We talked a lot about it on Sunday and Monday about having a response tonight. They really came out and used a moment when we got knocked down to get back up.”
Watson’s header sparked the search for a third. Rowe and Bunbury both went close as the second half unfolded, but it took until the waning stages for the Revs to guarantee safe passage to the Final next month.
Bunbury gathered his composure in the attacking third and sensed an opportunity to strike from distance. His low effort eluded Lampson and worked its way inside the near post to guarantee the Revs’ first appearance in the final since winning the competition nearly a decade ago.
“Whenever you can make a Final, it’s huge,” Bunbury said. “Credit to all of the guys. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s a lot of different types of games throughout the tournament. I’m just pleased we were able to make it to this point. It was a great victory tonight and we’re very excited.”
- Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Match Report -
Match : New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire
Date : Aug. 9, 2016
Competition : Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal
Venue : Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
Kickoff : 8 p.m. ET
Attendance : 9,801
Weather : 78 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
NE 2 1 3
CHI 1 0 1
NE - Kei Kamara (penalty kick) 16th minute
CHI - David Accam (Michael de Leeuw) 40
NE - Je-Vaughn Watson 42
NE - Teal Bunbury 85
NE: 18-Brad Knighton; 2-Andrew Farrell, 15-Je-Vaughn Watson (21-Zachary Herivaux, 85), 23-Jose Gonçalves, 8-Chris Tierney; 6-Scott Caldwell, 7-Gershon Koffie (28-London Woodberry, 75); 10-Teal Bunbury, 11-Kelyn Rowe, 14-Diego Fagundez (24-Lee Nguyen, 62); 13-Kei Kamara
Substitutions not used : 22-Bobby Shuttleworth, 25-Darrius Barnes, 4-Steve Neumann, 16-Daigo Kobayashi
Head Coach: Jay Heaps
CHI : 28-Matt Lampson; 13-Rodrigo Ramos (3-Brandon Vincent, 46), 16-Jonathan Campbell, 4-Johan Kappelhof, 5-Michael Harrington (15-Joey Calistri, 90); 30-Razvan Coçis, 19-Khaly Thiam (2-Matt Polster, 66); 11-David Accam, 7-John Goossens, 12-Arturo Alvarez; 8-Michael de Leeuw
Substitutions not used : 25-Sean Johnson, 6-Eric Gehrig, 21-Nick Labrocca, 26-Michael Stephens
Head Caoch: Veljko Paunovic
Stats Summary: NE / CHI
Shots: 16 / 16
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 7 / 6
Fouls: 7 / 16
Offside: 2 / 1
CHI - Johan Kappelhof (caution) 43rd minute
NE - Je-Vaughn Watson (caution) 51
NE - Kelyn Rowe (caution) 89
CHI - David Accam (ejection) 89
CHI - Michael de Leeuw (caution) 90+1