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05 / 13

Lansing United Advances in U.S. Open Cup

WRITTEN BY: Nick Barnowski
PUBLISHED ON: May 13, 2015

Before the first-ever Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match in Lansing history, the Sons of Ransom supporters group gave head coach/GM Eric Rudland a scarf that he wore through the whole match.

“I’ll wear it again if they want me to,” said Rudland after the game.

Consider this a request from the fans, coach.

United held their nerve through 120 minutes of play against RWB Adria, advancing to the second round of the Cup with a 4-2 penalty shootout win after neither team managed a goal from open play.

Hoops keeper Quinn McAnaney made six saves during the match, but pulled off his biggest stop against Antonio Aguilar on the opening penalty of the shootout.

“These are the moments you live for,” said the Michigan State shot stopper, who earned the nod as Dean Trailways Man of the Match. “I had a chance to read him a little bit, and I guessed right and made the save.”

After coming on as a substitute in the second half of extra time, Yves Nzwanga only played 15 minutes. But after Adria missed their third spot kick, the winger stood over the fourth penalty for United with the chance to win the match.

“Everyone else did their job in front of me, I just had to do mine,” said the former Cincinnati Saint. “I knew the keeper was short, and if I put it far enough, he wasn’t going to reach it.”

His kick did just that and eluded RWB Adria keeper Piotr Sliwa, touching off a wild celebration as the players were mobbed by many of the almost 500 fans in attendance.

The visitors dominated possession in the first half, racking up three shots on goal and hitting the woodwork once in the first 20 minutes. After watching Adria’s Maria Vucelimovic run rampant down the Lansing left side, Rudland switched his wingbacks and put veteran defender Austin Dunn on the job.

The Adria winger was quiet after that.

“He was really quick, really skillful,” Dunn said. “(Eric) wanted me to get right up on him and cut off the passes to not let him get the ball. It made a big difference having Stephen (Owusu) in front of me with his speed too.”

United will now host Louisville City FC on Wednesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. at Archer Stadium in the second round.

And expect Eric Rudland to be wearing a certain accessory on the sidelines.

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