The Charleston Battery fell 1-0 to Orlando City in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup Tuesday night at Blackbaud Stadium after having defeated Drayton on Friday.
With the win, Orlando City became the first non-MLS team to win at Charleston in a U.S. Open Cup game.
Defender Rob Valentino scored the crucial goal in the 39th minute, heading past Battery goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra to send Orlando into the third round. Orlando City will head to MLS’s FC Dallas for the third-round fixture next Tuesday night in Frisco, Texas.
“You don’t ever want to lose, especially with a chance to go to Texas and play MLS’s FC Dallas. It’s something every player wants to experience and something every coach wants to move on to,” said Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser.
The Charleston Battery started brightly and had a chance in the 8th minute with a close-range shot from midfielder Stephen Armstrong. The play started from a deflection from the Orlando defense, which was met by Nicki Patterson. Patterson slipped the ball through to Armstrong, who was well placed for the shot, which soared just over the crossbar.
Just following, in the 12th minute, midfielder Evan Taylor struck a cross to the far right side of the box. The cross was met with a diving header by fellow teammate Brandon Massie, whose efforts left a shot just skimming the crossbar.
The Battery’s best chance of the half fell to forward Levi Coleman from a whipped cross in the 34thminute. Coleman met the ball, but his point-blank header was parried clear by Orlando goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo.
In the 39th minute, Orlando City scored the lone goal of the evening. After the ball was cleared from a corner, Andrew Dykstra came off his goal line as the ball was played back into the box. Rob Valentino just beat Dykstra to the ball and headed over him into the back of the net.
Charleston fought back and came close to equalizing in the 45th as forward Levi Coleman beat the Orlando defense with a quick cut to the inside of the field, leaving forward Nicki Paterson alone at the top of the box. Coleman’s pass split two defenders, giving Paterson a shot that missed the net by inches.
In the 57th minute, substitute Battery forward Dane Kelly found some room inside the Orlando half. Kelly managed to slip between the defenders, but Gallardo stepped up quickly and scooped the ball from Kelly’s feet before he could strike the ball.
The Battery heads to Wilmington, NC, Friday night for an 8 p.m. match versus the Hammerheads that will be broadcast live on FOX Soccer. Charleston returns to Blackbaud Stadium Saturday night for a 7:30 p.m. match versus the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Referee: Patrick Baker
Assistant Referees: Daniel Burak, Skye Arthur Banning
Weather: Clear, 90
Scoring Summary Goal (Assist) Minute
Orlando City Valentino (Molino) 39
Andrew Dykstra, Nigel Marples (Jon Gruenewald 82), Colin Falvey, John Wilson, Mike Zaher, Brandon Massie (Zach Prince 68), Evan Taylor, Alex Caskey, Stephen Armstrong, Nicki Paterson, Levi Coleman (Dane Kelly 54)
Players Not Used - Keith Wiggans, Mark Wiltse, Sean Flatley, Kevin Jackson
SHOTS: 12 (Armstrong 3); SAVES: 2 (Dykstra 2); FOULS: 8 (Zaher 3); CORNER KICKS: 1; OFFSIDES: 3; PENALTY KICKS: (NONE); CAUTIONS: (NONE); EJECTIONS: (NONE)
Miguel Gallardo, Jack Traynor, Demar Stewart, Rob Valentino, Erik Ustruck, Kevin Molino (Jerome Mechach 45), Yordany Alvarez, Lawrence Olum, Charlie Campbell, Devorn Jorsling (Dennis Chin 75), Max Griffin
Players Not Used - Sean Kelley, Justin Fojo
SHOTS: 8 (Valentino 2); SAVES: 2 (Gallardo 2); FOULS: 7 (Jorsling 2); CORNER KICKS: 4; OFFSIDES: 4; PENALTY KICKS: (NONE); CAUTIONS: (NONE); EJECTIONS: (NONE)