Neco Brett scored twice to lead Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC into the Third Round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night. | Photo courtesy Chris Cowger / Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC got a pair of second-half goals by Neco Brett to advance to the Third Round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 3-0 win against USL League Two’s Dayton Dutch Lions at Highmark Stadium on Tuesday night.
Pittsburgh will play host to either fellow Championship side Indy Eleven or USL League One’s Lansing Ignite FC at Highmark Stadium on Wednesday, May 29, who square off on Wednesday night.
The Hounds almost opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Neco Brett hit the left upright with a turning shot from 10 yards, while the Dutch Lions threatened early in the second half when Gabriel Pewu skied a finish off a low cross by Tate Robertson Keir.
Brett put Pittsburgh ahead from the penalty spot in the 58th minute, however, shooting low to the right corner after he was brought down in the penalty area. Dayton almost leveled four minutes later but Hounds goalkeeper Austin Pack smothered a close-range chance for Jackson Dietrich, and in the 69th minute Pittsburgh doubled its advantage as Brett powered home a finish from the right side of the penalty area.
The Hounds had chances to add to their lead late as Steevan Dos Santos had a header saved with six minutes remaining, while Noah Franke fired high shortly after a good cross by Anthony Velarde. The Dutch Lions had one final chance to make things interesting in stoppage time when they were awarded a penalty kick, but Jackson Dieterich shot wide of the right post, and then moments later Velarde wrapped the win as he tucked home a low cross by Jordan Dover.
HARTFORD ATHLETIC 2, NEW YORK COSMOS B 1: Winless in the Championship, the Athletic claimed their first victory in club history as first-half goals by Harry Swartz and Mads Jorgensen led the side past the Cosmos B at Al-Marzook Field.
Swartz opened the scoring in the 16th minute when he fired home a low cross from Giussepe Gentile into the right corner of the net, and the Athletic doubled their lead nine minutes later when a free kick by Jorgensen from 25 yards out on the left side tucked just inside the near post. New York pulled a goal back through Bljedi Bardic from long range just before the hour-mark, and the visitor’s Danny Szetela hit the crossbar in the 68th minute, but Hartford held its lead late to advance to a meeting with either fellow Championship side Memphis 901 FC or USL League Two’s New York Red Bulls U-23.
NASHVILLE SC 3, SOUTH GEORGIA TORMENTA FC 2 (2): Alan Winn had a goal and two assists as Nashville held off a spirited Tormenta FC 2 side at Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium to advance to the Third Round, where NSC will face either the Championship’s Charleston Battery or USL League One’s Greenville Triumph SC.
Nashville took an early lead as Winn laid on a slide-rule pass for Ropapa Mensah into the right side of the penalty area that the NSC striker fired home first time just inside the left post. Winn added a second of his own in the 32nd minute as he was found in space on the left side by Bolu Akinyode and calmly side-footed home a finish into the bottom-right corner of the net, but two minutes before the break South Georgia hit back as Adrian Billhardt got in behind the Nashville defense and found the back of the net.
NSC restored its two-goal lead seven minutes into the second half when Cameron Lancaster beat his marker and the goalkeeper to a low cross by Winn from the left for a simple finish. Tormenta FC 2 pulled within a goal for a second time in the 68th minute when James Meehan headed home after a corner kick, but that would be all for the visitors as Nashville closed out the win.
FLORIDA SOCCER SOLDIERS 2 (5), CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE 2 (4): The Independence held the lead in both regulation and extra time but were eliminated by regional qualifier the Florida Soccer Soldiers in a penalty shootout at the Sportsplex at Matthews.
Both teams matched each other shot for shot in the opening four rounds of the shootout, but after the Soccer Soldiers’ Valentin Sabella converted to open the fifth round, the Independence’s Enzo Martinez had his shot to the left corner saved by goalkeeper Martin Gammiero to send the amateur side on.
The Independence had originally taken the lead in the 31st minute when Hugh Roberts knocked home a header after Hassan Ndam headed a corner kick back across goal from the right side of the penalty area. The Soccer Soldiers equalized with 12 minutes to go as Adolfo Suazo headed home a chance, but the visitors were then reduced to 10 men when captain Antonioni Gonzalez was sent off in stoppage time for his second yellow card.
Up a man, Charlotte regained the lead two minutes into extra time as a cross from the right pinballed in the penalty area fell to Dominic Oduro, who finished a first-time shot in off the crossbar. The Soccer Soldiers rallied again to send the game to a penalty shootout with a minute to go as Sabella stole in and finished off the one-on-one chance, and from there the visitors were perfect from the spot to advance.