For the second year in a row, the Carolina RailHawks upset the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer at the third round stage of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 2-0 win at a packed WakeMed Soccer Park.
The game was turned on its head after 58 minutes when the RailHawks struck twice within three minutes. Austin Da Luz forced a shot under Galaxy keeper Brian Rowe and then in Carolina’s next attack, Brian Shriver raced clear to add a second goal.
The win over the reigning MLS Cup champion earns the RailHawks a fourth round home clash with MLS club Chivas USA on Wednesday, June 12.
The teams were tied after an open and flowing scoreless first half, which saw both sides create openings but denied in the final third.
The Galaxy threatened after 11 minutes when Michael Stephens led a two-on-two attack but fired over the top, then at the other end five minutes later, Da Luz tried a speculative 20-yard shot as he saw the visiting keeper Rowe off his line and that chance too rose up and over the bar.
Carolina’s best chance of the half came in the 22nd minute when top scorer Shriver stole the ball from Leonardo and raced down the right wing to provide a ball aimed for Zach Schilawski across area but Rowe was quick to grab the ball off his foot.
With 58 played the RailHawks shocked the Galaxy as Schilawski chased a ball some would have given up for dead and delivered a cross from the right end line that was dummied in the middle of the penalty area for Da Luz to deliver a low drive that crept under the body of the previously flawless Rowe.
Two minutes later, the RailHawks led 2-0 on the hour mark. Shriver, the top scorer in the U.S. Open Cup last season, broke away down the left and picked his moment to bury a low shot beneath Rowe to delight the delirious home crowd.
Four minutes from time Schilawski created an opportunity for Ti Shipalane to put the result beyond doubt, but Rowe produced a fine save to concede only a corner.
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