HARRISON, N.J. - The New York Red Bulls' pressure was relentless, both at even strength and especially with the man advantage. The Union's strategy was simple - keep clearing the ball away, earn an occasional counterattack, and take their chances on penalty kicks.
It was a chance worth taking.
Despite playing a man down from the 40th minute and being dominated in possession and chances, the Union somehow pulled out a win on penalty kicks over the Red Bulls in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal Tuesday at Red Bull Arena.
Fernando Aristeguieta scored the winning penalty kick, giving the Union a 4-3 edge after the teams played to a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes of regulation and extra time.
The Union advance to a semifinal, which will be played either Aug. 11 or 12 against the winner of Wednesday's Orlando City FC-Chicago Fire match.
"They represented the badge and played with heart and guts, and played incredibly hard for me," Union coach Jim Curtin said.
In the penalty-kick segment, Union keeper John McCarthy made a diving save on a Lloyd Sam shot that almost went in.
"I saved it and saw it going toward the line and I smacked it out of the net," McCarthy said. "I don't know if it went in, it was close, it was really close, and I am glad I got it out."
New York also missed its first penalty kick when Bradley Wright-Phillips hit the crossbar.
Besides Aristeguieta, the Union got successful penalty kicks from Sheanon Williams, Vincent Nogueira, and Maurice Edu.
This was Aristeguieta's first game since June 3, when he injured an ankle. He was inserted late in regulation and admitted he was gassed, but he had enough to make the winning kick.
"Normally when you take a penalty kick you already have your side [picked], but this time I swear I must have changed my mind eight times," Aristeguieta said. ". . . At the end I picked the left because that is where I feel safe."
The Union played a man down after forward Conor Casey received a red card in the 40th minute for a "violent foul" on Connor Lade.
McCarthy made several key saves, with one of the best coming when he stoned Sam in the 18th minute.
The Union took advantage of a rare transition opportunity when Nogueira dribbled down the left side and found a wide-open Erik Ayuk, who tipped in the pass in the 55th minute.
The constant pressure the Red Bulls applied finally got to the Union. Sam's goal in the 94th minute (stoppage time was five minutes) sent the game into extra time, but New York squandered several chances and the Union survived.