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Full Time: Charlotte FC Advances in the U.S. Open Cup After Defeating Reigning Champions Orlando City


The trophy defense of the reigning U.S. Open Cup champions Orlando City was cut short by Charlotte FC. Despite only winning by a goal, it was a commanding performance from the Crown that earned their spot in the 5th round of the competition.

First Half

Lineup: Kahlina, Diop, Sobociński, Jones, Afful, Bronico, Hegardt, Bender, Meram, Copetti, Gaines

After a positive spell of control to start the game, Charlotte created a golden opportunity that was almost identical to the goal Enzo Copetti scored against NYCFC and Tormenta FC. Like the goal on Saturday, the sequence started with a through ball in behind from a midfielder – this time Chris Hegardt – to McKinze Gaines who then had the opportunity to square a wide open Copetti but didn't capitalize on the moment.

Orlando were conservative in their attacking efforts but were stubborn on defense. Charlotte finished the half with 60% of the possession, did an excellent job of getting into that final third, but just couldn't breakdown a compact Orlando defense.

Second Half

Lineup: Kahlina, Diop (63'), Sobociński, Jones, Afful, Bronico, Hegardt (62'), Bender, Meram (62'), Copetti, Gaines (80')

Substitution: Świderski (62'), Jóźwiak (62'), Byrne (63'), Westwood (80')

Right out of the gates, Charlotte tested Orlando's goalkeeper when Jaylin Lindsey whipped in a cross to Enzo Copetti who headed it with venom and stung Mason Stajduhar's gloves who made the crucial save. It wasn't until the 70th minute when the first goal, and only goal, would come and it was delivered from none other than Kamil Jóźwiak who made his return from a brief injury hiatus.

They say Open Cup games are won and lost with substitutes and in this case Charlotte's changes made all the difference. Eight minutes after subbing on, substitutes Karol Świderski intercepted a loose pass and managed to poke it to Jóźwiak as he was getting fouled but the advantage was played allowing Jóźwiak to bulldoze his way through Orlando's defense and put his team ahead.

Right after the goal, Orlando had their first real scoring opportunity of the night from a Derrick Jones mistake and it couldn't have been a clearer chance for Orlando's Duncan McGuire but he skied his shot bailing Charlotte out. In the 83rd minute, Jozwiak's defense effort was rewarded when he stole the ball high up the pitch and nearly scored off the break for his second of the night. Orlando had some half chances in the dying embers of the match but Charlotte held on to their lead, advancing to the round of 16 in the U.S. Open Cup.