The Charleston Battery claimed their ninth victory all-time over an MLS Open Cup opponent in the US Open Cup Tuesday night, edging the visiting San Jose Earthquakes at Blackbaud Stadium in the Third Round on a 73rd minute goal from Colin Falvey.
The Earthquakes came into the contest with a 0-4-2 road record in league play while the host Battery were unbeaten at home in USL Pro action.
The first half initially saw each team’s defense lock down their respective ends, knocking away many potential scoring chances through the first 20 minutes of play. The half’s major chances came from the perimeter as San Jose’s Mike Fucito broke through midfield but was forced wide by Battery defenders before getting a dangerous shot off that Charleston’s Colin Falvey had to clear off the line. The Earthquakes would push a few moments later as Brad Ring sent a header towards the goal’s left side forcing Battery keeper Odisnel Cooper diving to push the ball away.
Charleston mounted their own attack but a combination of less than stellar passing plus the overall aggressive play of San Jose kept the Battery attack at bay. Charleston managed a couple runs that broke past the San Jose midfield but were forced to cycle many of chances around the perimeter, testing Quakes keeper David Bingham on only a couple occasions. That same aggressive play would earn the Quakes three yellow cards in the scoreless first half.
The second half would see Charleston answer the physical play, hoping to lure San Jose into making a game-changing mistake, especially when play involved the three Quakes already with yellow cards. The sides traded chances but both would struggle to get shots on net. Finally, the deadlock was broken in the 73rd minute after the Battery’s Zach Prince was taken down outside the far-left corner of the area. A free kick by Jose Cuevas was knocked past the San Jose keeper by a Falvey header.
Shortly after Ring picked up his second yellow and was ejected from the game, forcing the Quakes to push for the equalizer with only 10 men. Despite the heavy pressure San Jose applied, Charleston would collapse their defense and turn away everything San Jose could throw at them.
The victory was the first for Charleston against an MLS opponent since 2010 having previously defeated DC United (1999), MetroStars (2001, 2004), Houston Dynamo (2007, 2008), FC Dallas (2008), Chivas USA (2009) and Chicago Fire (2010) prior to this year.
The Battery now advance to the Open Cup’s Fourth Round and will face Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday, June 12.
CHB: Colin Falvey (Jose Cuevas) 73’
SJ: Justin Morrow (caution) 28
SJ: Steven Lenhart (caution) 30
SJ: Brad Ring (caution) 40
CHB: Jose Cuevas (caution) 45
CHB: Nicki Paterson (caution) 62
SJ: Brad Ring (caution / ejection) 74