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U.S. Open Cup Roundup – Early goals in either half help LouCity advance to Round of 32

By Staff, 04/17/24, 12:50AM EDT


Maxi Rodriguez grabs stoppage-time winner for Detroit City; Rhode Island falls in shootout against Charlotte in Open Cup debut

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville City FC scored early in either half and held off a late comeback attempt by USL League One side Greenville Triumph SC to take a 3-1 victory in the Third Round of the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night at Lynn Family Stadium.

Sean Totsch opened the scoring before Wilson Harris bagged his eighth goal in all competitions this season before Jorge Gonzalez iced the game deep in stoppage time for the hosts, who advance into Thursday’s Round of 32 draw.

Totsch put LouCity ahead after just 98 seconds, flicking home a near-post header from a corner kick from the left by fellow veteran Niall McCabe. The hosts had chances to add to their lead before Greenville found its feet, with Harris having a close-range chance ruled out for offside before LouCity goalkeeper Danny Faundez made a key save on Greenville’s Leo Castro late in the first half to keep the hosts ahead.

Louisville put together another fast start to the second half as Harris got his goal, scoring off an assist by Jansen Wilson. The side continued to press in search of additional goals – ending the night with eight shots on target and 18 shots overall – before Greenville pulled back a goal in stoppage time through Hayden Anderson, his first in the pro ranks.

Gonzalez wrapped up the result in the seventh minute of stoppage time, however, as his deflected shot on a counterattack found the net to seal the victory.

“I thought we created a ton of chances, but this is football,” Cruz said. “You leave a team in it, they get an opportunity, they finish it, and now you’re trying to make sure we finish the game out. I thought it was about being better in the final third and more clinical.

“…This is a historic tournament. It’s about making sure you’re doing everything you can to advance.”

DETROIT CITY FC 1, MICHIGAN STARS FC 0: Maxi Rodriguez scored his third goal of the season across all competitions in second-half stoppage time to lift Detroit City to victory against the Stars as the hosts finally broke through late at Keyworth Stadium after consistent pressure throughout the contest.

Detroit outshot its visitors 22-6 during the contest as its best opportunities either side of halftime came to Yazeed Matthews, who was well denied three times by Stars goalkeeper Tatenda Mkuruva. Le Rouge gained an additional advantage with 12 minutes to play as Michigan’s Hunter Olsen was sent off for his second yellow card, reducing the visitors to 10 players, and in the third minute of stoppage time the hosts were finally able to cash in.

Receiving a slide-rule pass from fellow DCFC veteran Stephen Carroll as he broke through the middle of the field, Rodriguez finished calmly from the top of the penalty area to earn his side victory a place in the Round of 32 draw.

CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE 4 (5), RHODE ISLAND FC 4 (4): Rhode Island FC’s debut in the Lamar Hunt Open Cup was a game to remember as both sides led twice on the night before RIFC scored a late equalizer in extra time to send the game to a penalty shootout, only for Charlotte’s Austin Pack to become the hero with a pair of saves in the penalty shootout to first keep the hosts alive at American Legion Memorial Stadium before winning the tie in the eighth round of the shootout.

Rhode Island took the lead in the 11th minute when Conor McGlynn cleaned up after the visitors held possession in the Charlotte penalty area for the midfielder to shoot home first time, but the Independence turned the tables with two goals in nine minutes by Juan Carlos Obregon Jr. from the penalty spot and Tresor Mbuyu on a well-taken breakaway opportunity.

RIFC got back on level terms in first-half stoppage time as Nathan Messer fired home from the left side of the penalty area and then regained the lead five minutes into the second half with a superb finish from 25 yards into the top-right corner of the net.

Charlotte came back again, however, and leveled with 18 minutes to play as Luis Álvarez added a goal to his earlier assist for the Independence’s third. Pack then made his first big impact on the game with a brilliant double-save in a goal-mouth scramble during the final minute of regulation time.

As the game entered extra time, Obregon struck again for the hosts five minutes into the first period, and as time ticked on it appeared that might settle it. Rhode Island sent the game to a penalty shootout in the 115th minute, however, as Stephen Turnbull shot home from the right side of the penalty area, giving the classic Open Cup encounter another twist.

Each side missed once in its first four shots to leave the shootout tied going to the fifth round when Charlotte’s Clay Dimick missed the target, opening the door for Rhode Island to advance. Pack came up with a crucial save to keep his side alive, denying RIFC’s Joe Brito with a diving save, and after two more rounds had seen both sides convert, Pack sealed the victory for the hosts as he stopped Gabriel Alvez’ shot after Anton Sorensen had scored for Charlotte to open the eighth round.

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