FC Tucson became the first Arizona team ever to reach the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 4-3 victory in penalties over the host San Antonio Scorpions on Tuesday night.
The match finished 2-2 at the end of regulation and after two extra-time periods to send it to penalties.
San Antonio, which went first, converted three of its first four only to watch as FC Tucson went a perfect 4 for 4. That left it at the feet of Scorpions midfielder Kevin Harmse to keep his team alive. His shot went sailing over the crossbar to send FC Tucson into the third round and the history books.
"The guys were spectacular; they left it all out there," FC Tucson coach Rick Schantz said in a phone interview.
FC Tucson advanced to play Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo next Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at 22,000-seat BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. The win put FC Tucson in the final 32 of the single-elimination tournament.
After the Scorpions took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Harmse in the 30th minute, FC Tucson began to push forward and get the better of the play.
It paid off in the 57th minute when a hard-driven shot by Ricardo Velasco punched the net.
Then, the men in black did the improbable. After a nice combination of passes, Saeed Robinson slotted home Conner Bevans' low cross in the 67th minute to give FC Tucson a 2-1 lead.
It looked as if FC Tucson might survive in regulation, thanks to a trio of stops by goalkeeper Dallas Jaye. But in stoppage time, a penalty was called on FC Tucson during a scramble in the box. Hans Denissen converted the penalty to tie it at 2 and send the match to extra time.
Much of the first extra-time period belonged to San Antonio, which plays two levels above FC Tucson, but Tucson controlled most of the second 15 minutes. Neither team could convert, and the match went to spot kicks.
Greg Carter, Connor Brandt, Brandon Zimmerman and Dakota Collins all made their penalties for FC Tucson to set up Harmse's miss.
"I think the league and everyone in the United States is going to know that Tucson soccer is for real," Schantz said.
US Open Cup up next
• What: Third round, FC Tucson at Houston Dynamo
• When: Next Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.