Two goals in the first period of extra time sent the Carolina RailHawks into the Quarterfinals of the 100th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 3-1 victory over visiting CD Chivas USA in front of 5,066 spectators at WakeMed Soccer Park on Wednesday evening.
RailHawks’ midfielder Cesar Elizondo and forward Brian Ackley scored in the 92nd and 98th minute of play, respectively for the RailHawks victory, to seal their ticket to the Quaterfinals for only the second time in team history and will face the winner of the match between Real Salt Lake (MLS) and Charleston Battery (USL).
“I thought we were the better team and deserved the victory,” said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke. “They almost won it on the last kick of regulation, but Akira (Fitzgerald) and the defenders came up big. It was a tough game tonight with the heat and humidity, but our boys pulled through and worked hard for the win.”
In the 13th minute of play, the RailHawks opened the scoring when Tiyi Shipalane beat Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. RailHawks forward Brian Shriver collected a ball 40 yards out from goal and played a through ball to Shipalane. Shipalane ran past one defender, touched the ball around Kennedy and finished into the back of the net.
Coming out of the half down a goal, Chivas USA began to push their attack. In the 57th minute a free kick from Carlos Alvarez found Vilchez Soto open in the box. Vilchez Soto evened the match at 1-1 with a header past RailHawks goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald.
In second half stoppage time it appeared Chivas USA found the game winner, but RailHawks midfielder Nick Millington cleared the ball of the line. With the match tied 1-1 at the end of regulation the match went into extra time.
The RailHawks came out strong in extra time and Elizondo found the game-winner in the 92nd minute of play. Shipalane collected the ball on the right hand side of the box and after beating one defender played the ball across to Elizondo, who finished one-time. Only six minute later, the RailHawks added to their lead when a Floyd Franks corner kick found the head of Ackley for the two goal lead.
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