CARY, N.C. – Following a two-plus hour lightning and rain delay at WakeMed Soccer Park on Wednesday, the Carolina RailHawks suffered a 1-0 defeat to the New England Revolution in fourth-round play of the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Zachary Herivaux, making his first start for the Revolution, scored the lone goal while goalkeeper Brad Knighton’s five-save performance, including two in the end, helped make the difference.
Not only did weather extend the second all-time meeting between the two clubs, but so did 30 minutes of extra time.
The original kickoff took place at 7:30 p.m.
However, only hundreds of the original 4,147 in attendance remained when the match ended at 12:20 a.m.
All-in-all, they got their money’s worth when play resumed into the 10th minute of play.
Both teams pressed at both ends of the pitch.
By the 23rd minute, the Revolution had outchanced the RailHawks, but goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald was up to the task for Carolina.
While the Revolution outshot the RailHawks 6-4 during the opening half, both teams went to their locker rooms scoreless at halftime.
The second half saw continued offensive pressure from both sides with New England getting the most dangerous chances to score through 60 minutes of play.
The intensity of play and responses following missed chances increased as three total yellow cards had been presented by that time with the RailHawks claiming two of them.
A strong left from Carolina’s Paul Black made it through, but Knighton’s hands claimed the hard shot attempt in the 70th minute as the score remained 0-0.
A free kick from the right side of Knighton’s goal appeared dangerous, but the RailHawks could not produce anything from it.
In the 77th minute, a setup in the box from Austin Da Luz gave Brian Shriver the opportunity to finish with a one-touch volley, but Knighton made the critical save for the Revolution.
New England pressed on two different occasions within a span of minutes heading into the 87th minute, but missed on each.
Both sides remained scoreless through regulation and continued on to endure through two 15–minute halves of extra time.
Within the first two minutes in the first extra half, a free kick from Chris Tierney rung off the crossbar, a shot that beat Fitzgerald even while he dove upward towards it.
New England continued its attack in the 103rd minute and finally connected from the top center of the box.
Herivaux’s high, curling shot tucked under the right side of the crossbar over Fitzgerald and gave the Revolution the 1-0 advantage.
Carolina worked harder to regain possession from a Revolution squad that was energized and intent on claiming the win.
As time counted into the 114th minute, the fatigue from all players was evident.
A follow-through on a shot attempt by Jon Orlando had Herivaux on the ground for a time while an attempt to volley the ball back across the box had Drew Beckie sliding into the goal line bleacher signage.
A corner kick from Carolina resulted in another shot on goal, but Knighton made the stop.
With less than a minute remaining, the RailHawks had one final chance to tie it as Simon Mensing’s airborne cross found Alex Perez wide open.
His well-placed, point-blank header couldn’t find enough space to get by Knighton as he made another critical save to preserve the win for the Revolution.
“I’m very very proud of the team tonight,” RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke said.
“We came off a tough game this past weekend, I thought the response was superb, we played well. We thoroughly deserved to win the game, and we didn’t. We didn’t take our chances and they shot from distance late into the game. I thought we were by far the better team for the course of the 120 minutes, and should be through to the next round; so I’m disappointed.”
CAR: Akira Fitzgerald, Drew Beckie, Simon Mensing, Connor Tobin, Paul Black, James Marcelin, Matt Watson (Pérez 83), Marvin Ceballos (Orlando 67), Nazmi Albadawi , Austin da Luz (Schuler 97), Brian Shriver
NER: Brad Knighton, Jose Goncalves, Jordan McCrary, London Woodberry, Scott Caldwell, Zachary Herivaux (Nguyen 55), Diego Fagundez, Donnie Smith (Tierney 80), Kelyn Rowe (Kamara 68), Femi Hollinger-Janzen, Juan Agudelo.
Goals: CAR – 0; NER – 1 (Herivaux, 93)
Cautions: CAR – Marcelin (45), Beckie (54), Shriver (109); NER – Woodberry (56), Kamara (85)
Ejections: CAR —; NER —