Manhattan SC celebrates its second goal of the night by William Lulka, which proved decisive in a 2-1 victory against FC Motown in the First Round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. | Photo courtest Manhattan SC
Teenagers Bibi Karamoko and William Lulka both found the net as USL League Two side Manhattan SC rallied to claim a 2-1 victory against FC Motown after extra time to advance to the Second Round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Marillac Field on Wednesday night.
The victory was Manhattan SC’s first in the historic tournament in its inaugural entry to the competition. The side will next face Flower City Union of NISA on Tuesday, April 4 at the Rochester Community Sports Complex in Rochester, N.Y. with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
The hosts had arguably the better of the possession in the early going, but Motown carved out the better chances and that pressure paid off in the 26th minute when Franco Catania found the net to put the visitors ahead.
Manhattan was able to keep the game within a goal at the break, however, as goalkeeper Connor Mieth made three saves. Ten minutes into the second half that proved key as 17-year-old Karamoko fired home from near the penalty spot. The goal appeared to lift the hosts, who carried more of the play after the break. Karamoko almost put his side ahead with 13 minutes to go only to have his effort denied as the game went to an extra 30 minutes.
Neither side was able to create a good chance in the first period of extra time, but within a minute of the resumption Manhattan had the lead. Karamoko began the play, outmuscling his marker as they battled for a through-ball on the right, and he rose and centered for Lulka as he arrived in the penalty area. The 18-year-old took a touch to control and shot low into the bottom-right corner.
Motown almost answered immediately when William Mensah struck the post in the 108th minute, and Manhattan had to hold on in stoppage time as Mieth made a big save to deny Mike Da Fonte on a close-range chance following a set piece. The hosts held firm, though, to secure an impressive win and berth in the next round.