A mix of starters and reserves were shocked by the Dayton Dutch Lions last night in the 3rd Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after Dayton came back from a late 1-0 deficit with two goals in the final 15 minutes.
The Crew were active early, trying to land an early knockout blow. They nearly got the first shot in the 6th minute. Chris Birchall fired in a free kick that rang off the crossbar, but bounced away from goal.. The rebound dropped to Eric Gehrig who popped a floating header over the crossbar from three yards out.
The Crew got a couple more early chances. Justin Meram fired in a cross that Ethan Finlay narrowly missed in the 14th minute. Another Birchall blast forced a save out of Dayton keeper Matthew Williams in the 19th minute to keep the game scoreless.
At the half hour mark, Finlay launched a cross that Meram nearly connected on in the 6 yard box, but the Dutch Lions were able to clear the ball away. The half would end with Dayton not even getting a shot off and holding off a very vigourous Crew offense.
The 2nd half started the same way, the Crew piled on the pressure with several chances to take the lead. The furious Dayton rearguard action would crack in the 64th minute as Meram was brought down in the box. Olman Vargas would slot the penalty home to earn a well deserved 1-0 lead.
After trhe Crew goal, Columbus seemed to relax and the Dutch Lions regained some confidence and started to string some passes together. They would score a shock goal just over 10 minutes from the end.
The game tying sequence started by a terrible Vargas pass. Dayton caught the Crew pushed up for a second goal. Daniel Holowaty found some space, bore down on goal and squared the ball to Jan-Garrit Bartels who coolly finished the chance give the Lions the goal in the 79th minute. It was Dayton's first shot of the game.
The Dutch Lions would take a shock lead minutes later with shot number two. Holowaty again found space after beating his man. He fed Gibson Bardsley who settled the ball and fired a shot past a stranded Matt Lampson. Daytron's 2nd shot of the game would given them a 2-1 lead in the 81st minute.
Dayton thwarted the Crew's late charge. Coach Warzycha brought on the fresh legs of Emilio Renteria and Bernardo Anor, but the Dutch Lions frustrated the Crew offense to seal the win. The Dutch Lions' win was one of 7 wins by lower league teams over MLS oponents on a crazy night of Open Cup play.
Columbus now has a long time to think about the loss, the next first team game is on June 16th at New England. Reserve players lose a competition they could have used for development and live game action, they will have to make do with the limited number of Reserve League games, the next one being on the morning of June 10th.