Photo courtesy of Forward Madison FC
EL PASO, Texas - Forward Madison FC upset USL Championship side El Paso Locomotive Wednesday night at Southwest University Park in El Paso. The visiting Flamingos started well, finishing the game's first chance to give themselves an early advantage. Paulo Junior showed good strength, holding off his defender to get to the endline before clipping a ball towards the six-yard box. Jiro Bariga Toyama floated off his defender's back shoulder and knocked the ball home to make it 1-0. Madison doubled its lead seven minutes later after a great piece of skill by Jeff Michaud on a counter attack. Michaud broke loose on the counter, skipping past a defender before clipping a ball in behind to Toyama. Toyama played a teasing pass in behind the retreating El Paso defenders, leaving Christian Diaz with a tap in to double the advantage.
Michaud would put the game on ice in the 76th minute after a brilliant exchange at the top of the El Paso penalty box. Josiel Nunez started the move, playing into Paulo Jr. who had his back to goal. Paulo Jr. played a perfect layoff into the path of Michaud's run, giving him time and space to finish. Brian Sylvestre earned the shutout in goal, but was helped by his defense who allowed just one shot on target all night. With the win, Madison advances to take on the winner of Saint Louis FC (USL Championship) and Des Moines Menace (USL League Two) in the third round on Wednesday, May 29.
Greenville Triumph SC (1), Charleston Battery (2) - It took a 91st minute goal from Ian Svantesson to knock Greenville Triumph SC out of the Open Cup in the second round. Playing at home, Greenville came out on the front foot and opened the scoring in the 30th minute after dominating play for the first third of the match. The goal came from a set piece swung in by Aaron Walker. Walker’s delivery fell perfectly between the six-yard box and the penalty area inviting Max Hemmings to rise above everyone to nod it past goalkeeper Phillip Breno and put the home side in front. Following the opening goal, Greenville continued to push, looking comfortable in possession and forcing the Battery to chase the game. As the game wore on, Charleston started to impose themselves on the match and finally broke through in the 79th minute. Romario Piggott served a low cross into the box from the endline. Piggott’s service pinballed around the penalty area and fell to Svantesson near the goalline. The 6-6 striker made no mistake calmly slipping the ball past Dallas Jaye to equalize. Svantesson completed his brace in the first minute of stoppage time, chasing down a loose ball and striking a shot past Jaye from a difficult angle to put the Battery through to the next round.
Indy XI (1), Lansing Ignite (0) - Lansing Ignite FC fell, 1-0, to a 10-man Indy XI side Wednesday night at the Bud and Jackie Sellick Bowl on the campus of Butler University. Lansing started brightly, putting a quality chance on frame inside of the first 30 seconds of the match, but Ricky Lopez-Espin’s effort was cleared off the line. The visitors continued to push for the opening goal through the first quarter of an hour. Elma Nfor was played through on goal, forcing Indy goalkeeper Evan Newton to leave his line in an attempt to break up the chance. Newton’s attempted tackle got mostly man and very little of the ball and the goalkeeper was sent off for the challenge. Lansing couldn’t capitalize on the ensuing free kick leaving both teams searching for the game’s first goal. Indy would break through in the 57th minute on a half chance created by a Tyler Gibson long ball from midfield. Gibson’s service was flicked on towards the penalty spot and Thomas Enevoldsen rose above his defender to nod it home and put the hosts in front. Despite falling behind, Lansing continued to look the more comfortable side, seeing more of the ball and creating the better of the chances with the man advantage. Tumi Moshobane nearly scored an equalizer in the 74th minute, but his long-range strike was punched out for a corner kick. Lansing finished the night with a 12 to 5 shot advantage and 58% of possession, but couldn’t break through.
North Carolina FC (4), Richmond Kickers (1) - Richmond Kickers lost, 4-1, to USL Championship side North Carolina FC at WakeMed Soccer Park Wednesday night. The Kickers battled NCFC in the first half, drawing themselves level in the 34th minute after falling behind early. The equalizer came after a good piece of play between Joe Gallardo and Matt Bolduc sprung Gallardo free on the endline. The midfielder served a low cross through the six-yard box and Wahab Ackwei did well to beat his defender to the ball and bundle it over the goalline. North Carolina’s Robert Kristos bagged a brace in ten minutes after the halftime break to put the game out of reach for the visiting Kickers. Chester Yamikani added an insurance goal in the 70th minute to make it 4-1 and send Richmond home.