It was closer than it probably should have been, but the New England Revolution have booked their spot in the US Open Cup Quarterfinals with a 3-2 victory over the New York Cosmos. Twice the home side took the lead, but twice did the Revs equalize, and in the 83rd minute, Teal Bunbury's second tally of the evening sealed the result.
A sparse-but-lively crowd turned out at Belson Stadium in New York and were certainly treated to fireworks. The home side showed more danger and initiative in the first half, creating chances and threatening on several occasions.
They more than deserved their opener in the 38th minute, when Jairo Arrieta and Juan Arango combined to get the ball back to a wide-open Ruben Bover, who finished past Bobby Shuttleworth. It was far too easy a goal, with Bover trotting up the center of the pitch unmarked and unnoticed before the final pass found him in the box.
To their credit, the Revs did not let this stand. Diego Fagundez dropped a wonderful long pass on a dime for Teal Bunbury down the right flank. Bunbury worked his defender a bit with some stepovers before unleashing an unholy rocket at the top near-post corner of the net, blasting right by Jimmy Maurer. Maurer may have gotten a touch; if he did, he regretted it, because that shot was lethal.
The goal energized the visitors, and they came out swinging in the second half. Pressing consistently, it appeared only a matter of time before they took the lead. Instead, the Cosmos stole the lead against the run of play. A defensive breakdown allowed Sebastian Guenzatti to finish past Shuttleworth to make it 2-1.
It looked as though the Revolution may have been about to drop a very winnable result, but then the boys in blue brought on Kei Kamara. The blockbuster trade chip, yet to score his first Revolution goal, did not disappoint.
In the 75th minute, a Maurer goal kick that didn't make it too far was headed right to Kamara, who was in behind and all by himself. The former Crew man had his first attempt blocked, but finished his own rebound to even up the score and open his New England goalscoring account.
Kamara then involved himself in the winner. Zachary Herivaux won the ball off Adam Moffat in the attacking third, where Kamara picked up the ball and decided to move it out to the right to Teal Bunbury. Bunbury decided that one goal was not enough, and finished far post to give the Revs the lead and the win.
New England will next play the Philadelphia Union in the Quarterfinals at home. Gillette Stadium would be the obvious choice, but there's an off chance that they will play it at a smaller venue, a tactic the Revs have used in the past to allow different sets of fans around the six New England states to see matches more easily.