Orlando City U-23s end Charleston Battery U.S. Open Cup run in shootout
It was the longest penalty kick shootout in U.S. Open Cup history and it felt like it for the Charleston Battery.
Orlando City U-23s defeated the Charleston Battery, 2-2, and 12-11 on penalty kicks, in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night at Blackbaud Stadium.
With the victory, Orlando City U-23s advance to face Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup on June 18.
After playing to a 2-2 draw during regulation and 30 minutes of scoreless overtime, the match was settled in a shootout, which lasted a tournament-record 14 rounds.
That's a lot of history considering the U.S. Open Cup was first played in 1914.
During the shootout, both teams went through their entire roster of 11 eligible players, including both goalies, as a handful of players from both squads were making their second penalty kick attempts after the 11th round.
Charleston striker Dane Kelly, who scored two goals in regulation and once during the early rounds of the penalty kick phase, missed in the 14th round to end the game.
It was an historic win for the upstart Orlando City U-23s, a USL PDL team made up of current and former college players. The Orlando City U-23s are affiliated with the USL Pro Division's Orlando City, which won the USL Pro league title last summer.
"I've never been a part of game that went into a 14-round shootout," said Charleston Battery coach Mike Anhaeuser. "They made a lot of PKs, we made a lot of PKs. We had a chance to win it in overtime, but couldn't convert. That's Open Cup play. You have to commend them for making their PKs and their keeper for making a couple of big saves."
Orlando City keeper Tomas Gomez was the difference in the game. He made five saves in regulation, including two from point-blank range, and then stopped Heviel Cordoves in the eighth round on a shot that would have given the Battery the victory.
"He was very aggressive and he made a couple of big saves for them," Anheauser said.
The Battery came out a little flat in the first half and found themselves trailing on Romario Williams' rebound goal at the 26-minute mark.
Orlando City pushed its advantage to 2-0 on Andrew Brody's nifty chip shot from about 30 yards out on the counter attack.
"You've got to give (Brody) credit, that was a very nice finish," Anhaeuser said.
The Battery, which outshot Orlando City 24-10, responded with a strong second half. Kelly scored twice in less than five minutes - the 63rd and 68th minute - to send the game into overtime.
The Battery had several chances to win the game in regulation, but either missed the mark or Tomas made the save.
"You got after them at halftime and they responded," Anhaeuser said. "We put the pressure on them. We had our chances, but couldn't get that third goal."