It took 10 rounds of penalty kicks, but Orlando City beat the Charleston Battery in the fourth round of the US Open Cup on Wednesday night.
The thrilling game ended at 4-4 after added extra time, and then neither team was able to get the edge in the shootout until Danny Mwanga beat Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper down the middle on Orlando’s 10th shot. Lions net-minder Earl Edwards Jr made three saves in the shootout, including the deciding moment where he denied Taylor Mueller.
The momentum, and lead, in the game between the two former USL rivals swung back-and-forth several times, including a ridiculous half hour in extra time that saw four goals scored.
Charleston took the lead in the 57th minute when Jared van Schaik headed a ball in from a Justin Portillo corner kick. However, the lead did not last long. Lewis Neal knocked in a headed ball seven minutes later to level the game.
Forward Dane Kelly regained the lead for the Battery in the 67th minute when he ran to a ball that was perfectly-placed by Maikel Chang on the left side of the box. Edwards came off his line but Kelly was able to blast it by the keeper for the goal.
But once again, the Battery could not enjoy their lead. Rafael Ramos made a run into the box in the 75th minute and defender Shawn Ferguson was called for a foul after going in hard for a tackle. Carlos Rivas, who would finish with the Modern Era’s (1995-present) first hat trick from penalties, slotted it home to tie the game at two apiece.
The drama just picked up once extra time began. Orlando was awarded another penalty just minutes into the first half of extra time, and it was controversial. It looked like Cooper got the ball first with time to spare, but the referee pointed to the spot again. Charleston players angrily protested but the referee wasn’t changing his mind and Rivas scored another.
He added another goal in the 105th minute when Pedro Ribeiro was tripped up in almost the same spot. This one was an obvious foul, as Cooper missed the ball and only made contact with Ribeiro’s ankles.
Despite the two-goal deficit, Charleston never stopped believing that they could win the game. Justin Portillo made sure of it. He made it 4-3 right before the end of the first half of extra time with his stunning strike from very far out. Then in the 115th minute, the referee called a penalty kick on Orlando. It was the fourth penalty of the game.
Portillo took the kick and beat Edwards to even it up once more and send the game to penalties. However, Edwards came up big in the end and helped his team advance to round five of the Cup where they will play the Columbus Crew.
FULL MATCH REPLAY: ORLANDO CITY AT CHARLESTON BATTERY