Greenville – (Greenville Triumph Release)
The Greenville Triumph SC fell 2-1 to Charlotte FC in the third round of the U.S Open Cup after hanging on to a 1-1 deadlock late in to extra time in a sold-out Triumph Stadium on Wednesday night. The club announced a crowd of 4,064, the largest crowd in Triumph history.
Early on it was clear that neither side was going to dominate the match, despite the two-level gap in leagues. Both Greenville and Charlotte challenged each other’s defenses, moving from one goal line to the other. In the 38th minute, Charlotte winger, Christian Ortiz, put the visitors ahead following a deflection from Greenville’s Paul Christensen. The match would remain 1-0 into the half, with a large contingent of visiting supporters cheering Charlotte on.
Coming out of the second half, changes to Greenville’s offense, including the addition of Jacob Labovitz, sparked the team’s energy. Ten minutes into the second half, Labovitz got a head on the ball challenging the Charlotte, and former Clemson keeper, George Marks. Minutes later, Jake Keegan fired from distance, scoring his second goal of the season to bring the underdog Triumph even 1-1.
The Triumph, behind strong play from Nate Shultz and the defense, kept Charlotte from scoring and sent the match in to extra time after 90 minutes. Despite their best efforts, a visibly tired Triumph squad thinned by injuries conceded a goal in the 105th minute just before the break between extra time periods. Though Greenville pushed forward with late pressure, they were unable to find an equalizer, falling 2-0.
“At the end of the day, it was a great night for our community,” said Triumph head coach John Harkes. “You know, we’re disappointed, we thought we had an opportunity to go out there tonight and get the win so there is some disappointment but at the same time, there were a lot of positives tonight and now we have to turn our focus to Saturday against Tormenta.”
The Greenville Triumph are back in action at home this Saturday night, April 23rd, to face Tormenta FC at 7:00 PM.