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Louisville Leaves It Late, Eliminates Legion FC

By JOHN ARLIA -, 05/29/19, 9:55PM EDT


Totsch's 90th-minute penalty sends LouCity to Fourth Round of Open Cup

Louisville City FC extended its perfect record in home knockout games with a 1-0 victory over Birmingham Legion FC in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night. | Photo courtesy EM Dash Photography / Louisville City FC

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A 90th-minute penalty kick from defender Sean Totsch saw Louisville City FC advance to the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 1-0 victory over Birmingham Legion FC on Wednesday night at Lynn Stadium.

The win wasn’t exactly the prettiest as Head Coach John Hackworth’s side managed just three shots on target – all of which came in the final 30 minutes of play – but the result ensured a 2-1 season-series victory over the expansion side and extended Louisville’s perfect record in home knockout games across both the Open Cup and USL Cup Playoffs.

Early on, it didn’t necessarily seem like the home side was going to keep that record intact as Birmingham created the better of the chances in the opening half. Legion FC winger Gael Mabiala cut in from the left and tested Chris Hubbard with a shot in the ninth minute and nearly opened the scoring just before halftime with a right-footed curling effort that beat the Louisville goalkeeper but was denied by the post.

Hubbard was scrambling across his goal again 11 minutes after the break as Joe Holland’s free kick from 25 yards out dipped over the Louisville wall but just missed the bottom-left corner. The home side finally created a solid scoring chance in the 62nd minute with substitute Paolo DelPiccolo looking to make an impact in his return from injury and setting up George Davis IV, who fired a right-footed shot that Birmingham goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel parried before regaining control.

Legion FC handed the home side a glorious chance with 13 minutes to play as it failed to clear its lines and the ball ended up on the feet of Davis IV on the left side of the penalty area, but he pushed his shot wide right of Van Oekel’s goal.

The Birmingham goalkeeper was unlucky to give away the penalty kick two minutes from time, as Niall McCabe’s lofted through ball beat the offside trap and sent Brian Ownby clean through on goal. The forward rounded Van Oekel but was taken down before he could slot the ball into an empty net.

Van Oekel picked up a yellow card for his troubles and then was sent the wrong way as Totsch made no mistake from 12 yards out, finding the bottom-left corner and securing Louisville City FC a Fourth-Round date with an opponent from Major League Soccer.

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