The New England Revolution became the first side to book their place in the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final, by beating the Chicago Fire, 3-1 at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday.
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Kei Kamara, whom the Revolution acquired not long before they began this year’s Open Cup campaign, Je-Vaughn Watson and Teal Bunbury scored the goals to put Jay Heaps’ side into next month’s final for the first time since 2007, in which they’ll face either FC Dallas or the LA Galaxy (second semifinal to be played Wednesday night).
The Revs struck first, from the penalty spot, after Rodrigo Ramos tripped Kelyn Rowe on the corner of the penalty area in the 15th minute. Kamara converted the ensuing spot-kick for a 1-0 lead.
Chicago pulled level on a busted play along the Revs’ backline in the 40th minute. Michael de Leeuw poked the ball past a pair of defenders for David Accam, who was suddenly in all kinds of space near the penalty spot. The Ghanaian, one of Chicago’s few true bright spots this season, cut inside and slotted the ball past Brad Knighton to make it 1-1.
That scoreline lasted less than 90 seconds, though, as Watson headed home a bouncing ball in the face of goal. Chris Tierney whipped in the initial free kick, and Kamara headed the ball goal-bound only to see it denied three yards off the line. Matt Lamspon went to ground on Kamara’s header, leaving a simple finish for Watson.
Bunbury put the game away with a slow bouncer out of reach of Lampson in the 85th minute.
Drawn the fourth-ranked team in terms of priority to host the Sept. 21 final, the Revs will go for their first major trophy since 2007 away from home, no matter who advances from Wednesday’s semifinal.