Houston Dynamo Outlast RSL in Extra-Time Thriller to Reach U.S. Open Cup Final

Amine Bassi’s Three-Assist Performance Powers Houston to Biggest Win Since Claiming the 2018 Open Cup Title; Dynamo Now Seek Second Title Against Inter Miami on Sept. 27 in South Florida

CHICAGO (Aug. 23, 2023) – The Houston Dynamo advanced to the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final after defeating visiting Real Salt Lake 3-1 after extra-time Wednesday night at Shell Energy Stadium.

Mexican international Hector Herrera put Houston ahead late in first half stoppage time, but RSL’s Anderson Julio leveled midway through the second half. With neither side able to determine the match through regulation, Dynamo midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla was rewarded for an influential night with a goal in the first extra-time period before substitute Luis Caicedo iced the game late in stoppage time of the second to send Houston back to a second Open Cup Final in club history.

Led by head coach Ben Olsen – who won the Open Cup as a player and coach of D.C. United  – the Dynamo will seek their second Open Cup trophy when they face world champion Lionel Messi and Inter Miami in the Final on September 27 in South Florida. Miami defeated FC Cincinnati 5-4 on penalties after the teams tied 3-3 in the earlier Semifinal played in Ohio.
Houston first lifted the Open Cup in 2018, while Olsen won the 2008 trophy as a player and led D.C. to the 2013 title against RSL as head coach.

In addition to advancing to the Final, Houston also qualified for the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup. The winner of the Open Cup was set to earn an automatic berth in the regional competition – but Miami already qualified for the Champions Cup by virtue of winning the inaugural League’s Cup last weekend.

The first half saw Houston assert themselves early though clear-cut chances were tough to come by for either side. Things changed in stoppage time, when Carrasquilla sprung teammate Nelson Quiñónes on the left side. Quiñónes’ first-time cross from the left was mis-cleared at the back post and, with RSL goalkeeper Zach MacMath already committed, Houston’s Amine Bassi played a short square ball to his left for Herrera to tap in from seven yards out to open the scoring.

The Dynamo thought they had doubled the lead minutes later when Herrera’s free kick from the left was brought down by Carrasquilla, who back-heeled through traffic to the top of the six yard box where teammate Cory Baird shot past everyone at the far post. However, in the first use of VAR in the Open Cup, the goal was waived off after review.

Houston again had a great chance to extend the lead in the 64th minute when Ibrahim Aliyu received a ball near the goal, but his attempt was misplayed. Real Salt Lake then charged up the opposite way and promptly scored. Jefferson Savarino was given time to settle and face his mark near the endline. From there, he lifted a short cross to the corner of the six-yard box that Anderson Julio headed past defender Jasper Löffelsend and MacMath to level the game 1-1.

Julio came close to putting RSL ahead with ten minutes remaining when his shot from a tight angle was deflected by Ethan Bartlow and over the head of goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell – but the effort skimmed just over the crossbar.

The final ten minutes were all Houston – with McMath keeping the visitors in the game. He first denied Franco Escobar’s blast and then stopped Carrasquilla’s lunging touch in front of goal.

In extra-time, it was again all Houston. Quinones tested McMath early on from distance but the goalkeeper was there to tip the ball over the bar. Carrasquilla then put the Texans ahead with a low rip from just inside the box that found the left side of the net.

Caicedo then put the game away late in stoppage time, working a give-and-go with Bassi before finishing firmly from seven yards out.

- LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP match report-

Match: Houston Dynamo FC vs. Real Salt Lake
Date: August 23, 2023
Competition: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal
Venue: Shell Energy Stadium; Houston, Texas
Attendance: 11,137
Kickoff: 9:40 p.m. ET (8:40 p.m. local)
Weather: 95 degrees; sunny

Scoring Summary:   1          2          OT       F

HOU                             1          0          2         3
RSL                              0          1          0         1

HOU – Héctor Herrera (Amine Bassi)                               45th minute +5
RSL – Anderson Julio (Jefferson Savarino)                   64
HOU – Adalberto Carrasquilla (Amine Bassi)                105
HOU – Luís Caicedo (Amine Bassi)                                  125


HOU: 13-Andrew Tarbell, 2-Franco Escobar, 6-Artur, 8-Amine Bassi, 11-Corey Baird (18-Ibrahim Aliyu, 62), 16-Héctor Herrera (Capt.) (27-Luís Caicedo, 96), 20-Adalberto Carrasquilla, 21-Nelson Quiñónes (3-Brad Smith, 108), 25-Griffin Dorsey (5-Daniel Steres, 109), 28-Erik Sviatchenko, 31-Micael (4-Ethan Bartlow, 79)

Substitutes not used: 12-Steve Clark, 7-Iván Franco

Head coach: Ben Olsen

RSL: 18-Zach MacMath, 2-Andrew Brody, 4-Brayan Vera, 6-Braian Ojeda, 8-Damir Kreilach (29-Anderson Julio, 56), 9-Cristian Arango (17-Danny Musovski, 70), 10-Jefferson Savarino (16-Maikel Chang, 96), 15-Justen Glad, 25-Emeka Eneli (30-Marcelo Silva, 111), 26-Diego Luna (11-Andrés Gómez, 46), 28-Jasper Löffelsend (13-Nelson Palacio, 71)

Substitutes not used: 35-Gavin Beavers

Head coach: Pablo Mastroeni

Stats Summary: HOU / RSL

Shots: 30 / 11
Shots on Goal: 10 / 2
Saves: 1 / 7
Corner Kicks: 6 / 7
Fouls: 14 / 18
Offside: 2 / 2

Misconduct Summary:

HOU – Griffin Dorsey (caution)                                  22
HOU – Héctor Herrera (caution)                                38
RSL – Brayan Vera (caution)                                      38
RSL – Cristian Arango (caution)                                59
RSL – Emeka Eneli (caution)                                       67
RSL – Andrés Gómez (caution)                                 72
HOU – Adalberto Carrasquilla (caution)                  93
RSL – Justen Glad (caution)                                     106
RSL – Nelson Palacio (caution)                                 114
HOU – Artur (caution)                                                 118
RSL – Brayan Vera (caution)                                      119
RSL – Brayan Vera (ejected)                                      119


Referee: Lukasz Szpala
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Da Silva
Assistant Referee 2: Chris Elliott
4th Official: Elton Garcia
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic
Assistant VAR: Craig Lowry