MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Nashville SC pressured Charleston Battery’s goal time and again in the teams’ third-round US Open Cup matchup, but the Boys in Gold could solve keeper Philip Breno only once. Kharlton Belmar’s tally in the 72nd minute helped knot the score and take things to extra time – and then to penalties – but NSC continued its struggles finding the back of the net in the shootout, and lost 3-0.
The Battery advance to Round four, and Nashville SC will regret what has become an all-too-familiar outcome: being the better team on the pitch for the majority of a game, but being unable to perform the final act of putting the ball into the back of the net.
With 27 shots, 18 of them from inside the box, Nashville only tested Breno on five occasions, and he stood tall on four of them. Meanwhile, a counter-attack goal for the Battery early in the contest was enough to force Nashville to play from behind for much of the contest.
NSC dominated possession 68.4-31.6, completed 87.4% of its passes while holding Charleston to only 66.5% success, and was generally the better team throughout. When that better team lets the opponent hang around thanks to its own poor finishing, a shootout gives the visitors confidence.
Liam Doyle and Matt LaGrassa saw Breno stop their penalty attempts in the shootout, while Charleston’s Zeiko Lewis and Leland Archer pounded theirs past Connor Sparrow. Jarad van Schaik went way over the bar in the third round, but Lebo Moloto found only woodwork. That gave striker Ian Svantesson the chance to end it early for the Battery and he made no mistake.
Being knocked out of the Open Cup is a major disappointment for Nashville, but the silver lining is that a team who has been run into the ground with eight games in 26 days now has a chance to rest for over a week before returning to the field. The Boys in Gold visit Philadelphia to take on the Bethlehem Steel June 8 at Talen Energy Stadium.
- 24′ CHS GOAL – 29 Nicque Daley (right foot), assisted by 8 Romario Piggott
- 45’+1 – CHS Yellow card – 14 Jarad van Schaik (foul)
- 45’+3 – Half time
- 58′ NSH Substitution – On 17 Michael Reed, off 4 Derrick Jones (injury)
- 67′ CHS Substitution – On 9 Ian Svantesson, off 29 Nicque Daley
- 68′ NSH Substitution – On 3 Ropapa Mensah, off 14 Daniel Ríos (injury)
- 72′ NSH GOAL – 11 Kharlton Belmar (right foot), assisted by Ropapa Mensah (right-footed cross) and Alan Winn (through-ball to Mensah)
- 77′ CHS Substitution – On 19 Dante Marini, off20 AJ Paterson
- 83′ NSH Substitution – On 23 Taylor Washington, off 11 Kharlton Belmar
- 90’+4 Full time
- 98′ CHS Substitution – On 12 Vincent Candela, off 26 Kieron Mason
- 98′ NSH Substitution – On 12 Tucker Hume, off 19 Alan Winn
- 105’+1 Half extra time
- 120′ Full extra timw
- PK Round 1 – CHS 11 Zeiko Lewis make, NSH 5 Liam Doyle miss (saved)
- PK Round 2 – CHS 5 Leland Archer make, NSH 20 Matt LaGrassa miss (saved)
- PK Round 3 – CHS 14 Jarad van Schaik miss (high), NSH 10 Lebo Moloto miss (crossbar)
- PK Round 4 – CHS 9 Ian Svantesson make