Chattanooga FC used a late goal to propel them to extra time against the Ocala Stampede and goalkeeper Gregory Hartley scored from the mark to secure a victory in the First Round of the 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Luke Winter scored in the 87th minute and Hartley scored the final penalty kick goal for Chattanooga as they won the shootout, 4-2.
A spectacular late goal put the game into extra time as Chrispin Ochieng received a cross into the box and headed it to Winter who put his back heel on the ball, beating Ocala’s Lex Craggs for the tying mark.
A record opening-night crowd of 2,483 at Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium watched the Stampede of the PDL score in the 61st minute to take the initial lead.
Freddy Ruiz ran and give-and-go to the right side of Hartley, then fed a pass out to the top of the box, finding Lewis Hilton for the strike. His shot traveled low and to the right of Hartley to beat him and give the Stampede the lead.
A spirited first half saw neither team score, but both had their chances, especially in the final 15 minutes of the stanza.
Ocala cracked the crossbar in the 39th minute while two minutes later, Chattanooga went on the attack, but Craggs turned away the shot.
Both teams had chance to take the lead late in extra time, but could not capitalize.
In the 112th, Ocala got a feed into the box, but the shot went off the top of the striker’s foot and went high. Three minutes later, Chattanooga had its best chance as a feed in from the right side found its way onto a left-footed shot. The kick trickled by Craggs but a Ocala defender was able to knock the ball out. On the ensuing corner, Chattanooga also threatened, but a kick sailed wide.
In the 119th, Chattanooga got into Craggs’ box, but miscommunication between the two offensive players for CFC ended with no strike.
CFC advances to the US Open Cup Second Round and will head to North Carolina for a matchup with the USL’s Wilmington Hammerheads on May 20.
Chattanooga FC will look to build on a historic performance from last year. Then, they beat the Hammerheads to become the first NPSL side to upset a professional team in the tournament after 21 losses.
For Ocala, it was its third straight US Open Cup appearance. The match was its first match of the season. CFC opened play with a 6-0 win against the Georgia Revolution on May 9.
Highlights: Ocala Stampede at Chattanooga FC
Full match replay: Ocala Stampede at Chattanooga FC
61' · Lewis Hilton (unassisted)
87' · Luke Winter (Chris Ochieng)
88' · Irvin Espinal 105' · Kim Seo-In
35' · Matt Aldred 102+' · Irwin Espinal
REF: Leland Grant AR: Ryan Starr AR: Aleksandar Zhyelyaskov 4th: Guido Gonzales