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Penalties See D.C. Down North Carolina

By CHRIS HOCKMAN -, 06/05/18, 10:00PM EDT


Comeback falls agonizingly short for NCFC after Lomis' late equalizer

Photo courtesy DC United

BOYDS, Md. — North Carolina FC managed a dramatic comeback to force a 1-1 draw with D.C. United after regulation and extra time but saw its 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup run come to an end in the Fourth Round after a 4-3 penalty shootout loss at Maryland Soccerplex on Tuesday night.

After being forced to come from a goal down, a strong second half performance brought NCFC back into the match but after 120 minutes D.C. forward Bruno Miranda dispatched his penalty kick to eliminate the USL side.

United gathered control of the match in the early stages and in the 25th minute hit the lead after some miscommunication at the back for the visitors saw a shot get through and come back off the post, and the rebound fell for youngster Ian Harkes who made no mistake, burying it with NCFC goalkeeper Alex Tambakis stranded.

The goal woke up the North Carolina attack as forward Marios Lomis got into the game more, but he found himself heavily marked. NCFC defender Peabo Doue was at his best to stop Joseph Mora’s dangerous cross to the far post, heading it out for a corner that his side would clear comfortably, keeping it 1-0 at halftime.

A perfect ball to the far post from NCFC midfielder Kyle Bekker nearly found Austin da Luz but strong defending boxed him out of the header, sending it out for a goal kick as the visitors managed a strong start to the second half.

Only some last-ditch D.C. defending kept North Carolina out in the 67th minute when the fresh legs of Marcel Kandziora released Bekker, which allowed him to play it wide and find Tiyi Shipalane, whose cross was just cleared away as the visitors kept pushing for an equalizer.

In the 77th minute, NCFC Head Coach Colin Clarke brought on a second striker in Daniel Rios to try and create a breakthrough from the momentum his side had gathered. That would pay off six minutes later as United failed to deal with a corner allowing Lomis to control and send a stunning volley just out of the reach of David Ousted in the D.C. goal and into the back of the net to send the game to extra time.

North Carolina looked to carry its momentum into the additional half-hour and had the first real chance of the opening half when Lomis ran at goal, finding space at the edge of the area that allowed him to shoot powerfully just wide of goal. Just minutes later Kandziora got in on the act with a cross from Lomis finding the open substitute who couldn’t keep his header down, letting D.C. off the hook.

After the two sides fought for no reward in the second half of extra time, however, United held its nerve to claim the shootout win as both Bekker and Doue failed to score from the spot for the visitors, allowing Bruno Miranda's shot in the second half of the fifth round to send D.C. into the Round of 16.

25’ – DC – Ian Harkes
83’ – NC – Marios Lomis

Penalty Shootout
DC – 22-Yamil Asad, Goal; 11-Darren Mattocks, Goal; 10-Luciano Acosta, Goal; 23-Ian Harkes, Missed; 32-Bruno Miranda, Goal

NC – 14-Daniel Rios, Goal; 10-Kyle Bekker, Saved; 9-Marios Lomis, Goal; 3-Peabo Doue, Missed; 13-Connor Tobin, Scored

DC United: GK David Ousted; D Oniel Fisher, Joseph Mora, Jalen Robinson, Steven Birnbaum; M Chris Durkin (Luciano Acosta 72’), Bruno Miranda, Paul Arriola (Junior Moreno 61’), Ian Harkes, Yamil Asad; F Dane Kelly (Darren Mattocks 85’)

Substitutes not used: Travis Worra, Frederic Brilliant, Jared Jeffrey, Patrick Mullins

North Carolina FC: GK Alex Tambakis; D DJ Taylor, Peabo Doue, Connor Tobin, Aaron Guillen; M Graham Smith, Kyle Bekker, Tiyi Shipalane (Daniel Rios 77’), Dre Fortune (Marcel Kandziora 60’), Austin da Luz (Wulito Fernandes 108’); F Marios Lomis

Substitutes not used: Austin Guerrero, Michael Harrington, Cameron Steele

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