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North Carolina FC Falls to D.C. United in Open Cup Penalties Heartbreaker

By NCFC Communications, 06/05/18, 10:45PM EDT


BOYDS, Md. (June 5, 2018) – North Carolina FC took MLS side D.C. United to five rounds of penalty kicks, after 120 minutes left the teams locked at 1-1 in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. However, it would be D.C. United who advanced to the Round of 16 with a 1-1 (4-3 PKs) result on Tuesday night at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Despite a valiant effort that pushed D.C. United to the brink, NCFC’s Open Cup run ended against an MLS side for the third straight year.
A slow first half played out with United capitalizing on its best opportunity of the half. Ian Harkes, a Wake Forest University standout, scored the opening goal in the 25th minute after pouncing on a loose ball in the box.
D.C. maintained its advantage until NCFC’s attack came alive in the second half. The visitors had a flurry of chances go just wide before the Open Cup magic returned to the side.
In the 83rd minute, Marios Lomis produced the clinical shot NCFC was looking for and equalized with a side volley from 18 yards out. The Dutchman capitalized on a poor clearance from D.C. and controlled the ball before sending a strong shot through a crowded box and into the back of the net. The goal marked his third Open Cup goal of the season and sixth across all competitions in 2018.
The teams traded blows during two 15-minute extra time periods, but neither could find the winner, which sent the match to penalties.
D.C. United took an advantage into the third round of penalties after Kyle Bekker’s shot was saved. United held that advantage throughout the shootout and extended its control after Peabo Doue’s shot hit the crossbar. 
A missed shot from Harkes and a well-placed attempt from NCFC’s Connor Tobin kept NCFC alive for the final kick of the match. However, D.C.’s Bruno Miranda stepped up and converted the final penalty to send his side to the next round.  

Up Next:
NCFC will return home and resume league action on Saturday, June 9, when it hosts FC Cincinnati at 7 p.m. ET at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. Tickets are available online, over the phone at 919-459-8144 or in person at the Coastal Credit Union Box Office.
The matchup was the first ever meeting between the two sides.
NCFC advanced to play an MLS team for the third year in a row and the 14th time in club history in the competition.
NCFC went to penalties in the Open Cup against an MLS side for just the second time. The team advanced past Chivas USA 1-1 (3-2 PKs) in the fourth round of the competition in 2014.
Marios Lomis scored his third U.S. Open Cup goal and sixth goal of the season with an equalizer in the 83rd minute.
Box Score:
NCFC (4-5-1): Alex Tambakis; Peabo Doue, Aaron Guillen, Connor Tobin ©, DJ Taylor; Austin da Luz (Wuilito Fernandes, 108’), Graham Smith, Dre Fortune (Marcel Kandziora, 60’), Kyle Bekker, Tiyi Shipalane (Daniel Rios, 77’); Marios Lomis
Subs not used: Austin Guerrero, Michael Harrington, Cameron Steele
DC (4-1-4-1): David Ousted; Joseph Mora, Steven Birnbaum ©, Jalen Robinson, Oniel Fisher; Chris Durkin (Luciano Acosta, 72’); Yamil Asad, Ian Harkes, Paul Arriola (Junior Moreno, 61’), Bruno Miranda; Dane Kelly (Darren Mattocks, 85’)
Subs not used: Travis Worra, Frederic Brillant, Patrick Mullins, Jared Jeffrey
DC: 1 (4-3 on PKs)
NCFC: Marios Lomis (Unassisted, 83’)
DC: Ian Harkes (Unassisted, 25’)

NCFC:                                              D.C. United:
Daniel Rios: Made                    Yamil Asad: Made
Kyle Bekker: Missed                Darren Mattocks: Made
Marios Lomis: Made                Luciano Acosta: Made
Peabo Doue: Missed               Ian Harkes: Missed
Connor Tobin: Made                Bruno Miranda: Made
NCFC: Marcel Kandziora 109’, Graham Smith 120’
DC: Ian Harkes 80’
NCFC: --
DC: --
Attendance: 3,118