Georgi Hristov scored the lone goal as Seattle Sounders FC fell to the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1-0, in the third round of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. It marks the first Open Cup loss in franchise history for Seattle (17-1-2) after advancing to the final the previous four years, winning three straight titles from 2009-11.
In the 75th minute, Hristov tapped in a rebound after Marcus Hahnemann made a diving save on a Luke Mulholland shot deep inside the box. It was the third goal of the tournament for Hristov in just two games after scoring a brace in a 2-1 win over VSI Tampa in the second round.
It was just the third time Sounders FC has allowed the first goal in an Open Cup match, and in both games the Rave Green came back to win 2-1 (7/21/09 vs. HOU and 10/5/10 vs. CLB).
Sounders FC nearly equalized late when they were awarded a penalty kick in the 84th minute after a Jordan Gafa hand ball in the box. Obafemi Martins’ ensuing penalty attempt was saved by Tampa Bay keeper Diego Restrepo.
Gafa was issued a red card on the play and the Rowdies played the game’s final minutes with 10 men.
Mario Martinez provided some dangerous offensive play for Seattle in the first half. After drawing a foul at the top of the box in the 23rd minute, the Honduran bounced the free kick just wide of the far post. Four minutes later, he first-timed a ball from David Estrada on the right side of the box that sailed just wide.
In the 59th minute, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado headed ball on frame after it was headed around the box after a corner kick. In the 63rd, the Colombian cleared away a dangerous ball from Rafael Cox deep in the box.
Seattle rookie defender Dylan Remick made his Sounders FC debut with the start at right back tonight. The Brown-product was Seattle’s second-round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
Sounders FC returns to action Saturday with a road matchup with Chivas USA. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. PT at the Home Depot Center.