In a match that was suspended for 88 minutes due to lightning in the area very late in regulation and ultimately went to added extra time, the Houston Dynamo defeated North Carolina FC 3-2 in the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park tonight.


Midfielder Memo Rodriguez picked a good time to notch his first goal for the Dynamo first team. He collected an attempted clearance off of a corner kick in the 109th minute and, after a touch to settle the ball, buried a shot from 25 yards into the lower left corner of the net.


With the win, the Dynamo advance to the Round of 16 in the Open Cup. The draw for Round of 16 matchups will take place Thursday morning at 10 a.m. CDT and will be streamed live on U.S. Soccer’s Facebook page.


Houston is now 12-10-1 all-time in the Open Cup, and the win was the Dynamo’s first in Open Cup play when going beyond the 90 minutes of regulation. The club was 0-4-1 in games decided in added extra time or penalties before tonight.


North Carolina FC opened up the scoring early in the fourth minute, when defender Steven Miller recover a blocked shot from midfielder Saeed Robinson and blasted a left-footed shot from just outside the box into the upper left corner of the Dynamo net.


The Dynamo pressed the issue and kept knocking at the door, and were able to tie the game in the 25th minute. Defender Kevin Garciaplayed a long ball to forward Vicente Sánchez on the right side, Sánchez outran his cover defender Paul Black and sent a low cross to forward Andrew Wenger, who slid in the six-yard box and put the ball in the back of the net.


The Dynamo’s defensive pressure paid off in the second half, when defender Dylan Remick picked the pocket of North Carolina midfielder Austin Da Luz as he was trying to work the ball up the field, took two touches into the Carolina penalty area and slid a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner of the goal. Remick’s goal in the 62nd minute gave the Dynamo a 2-1 lead and put them 30 minutes away from the Open Cup’s Round of 16.


Six minutes later, North Carolina FC found their way back in the game. Forward Matt Fondy won a free kick 25 yards from goal and midfielder Lance Laing stepped up and fired a left-footed free kick into the bottom right corner to tie the game.


In the fourth minute of added extra time, Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis came up with a massive double save, first denying a diving header from Fondy and then quickly recovering to stonewall forward Tiyi Shipalane from point-blank range.