The Jacksonville Armada FC may have had home-field advantage, but that’s where their fortune ended Wednesday night in their quest to advance in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Taking on Miami United FC, the two National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) clubs fought for every possession, but it was Miami who came away with the only goals in the Third Round match.
Miami drew first blood in the 20th minute off a great ball that was fed to Tomas Granitto. The Miami midfielder took a shot from outside the box and banked it in off of the far post. It was one of the more impressive goals of the tournament and it gave United the momentum they needed.
Just six minutes later, Miami United earned a free kick just outside the box on the left wing. Nicolas Gorobsov stepped up to take the shot, curling it past the wall to the far post to double the advantage.
Though the scoreboard showed a 2-0 result for Miami, Jacksonville actually owned a distinct shot advantage, 20-4. However, just six of those shots were put on frame, and all were tidied up by Miami goalkeeper Oscar Peterson.
“We had a thousand chances to score a goal and we didn’t score,” said the clearly disgruntled Armada head coach, Mark Lowry. “We had five, six, seven, eight, nine chances to score and we didn’t. That’s what happened.”
With tonight’s win, Miami United becomes the first team in NPSL history to reach the Fourth Round of the US Open Cup. United are just the second open division pro team to reach Round 4, joining the 2016 Kitsap Pumas, back when they were a member of the Premier Development League.
They now await the results of tomorrow’s Fourth Round draw ahead of MLS’ entry into the competition. The draw is set to take place at 11 AM (ET).