Connally Edozien celebrated his 29th birthday with a goal, then turned provider as the Carolina RailHawks of the USL First Division ousted the final USASA team in the competition, Milwaukee’s Bavarian SC.
The RailHawks dominated play throughout, limiting Bavarian to just a few scoring opportunities in a match delayed nearly an hour at the start because of lightning in the area. The amateur team stood strong until the final eight minutes of the first half, when the duo of Edozien and Anthony Maher put Carolina in charge.
Edozien raced past three Bavarian defenders and onto a through ball from Maher on the right side in the 37th minute. He got Bavarian goalkeeper Grant Fernstrum to commit and slotted a shot home to the far post for his third goal of the competition.
Eight minutes later, Edozien chested down a long ball into Maher’s path on the right doorstep. Fernstrum got both hands on Maher’s shot, but couldn’t stop it from rolling into the goal on the near post, making it 2-0 just before halftime.
The two hooked up for another goal in the 56th minute. RailHawks defender Chad Dombrowski, a Milwaukee-area native whose older brother Scott played all 90 minutes on the back line for Bavarian, found Edozien on the right side. His blast was turned away by Fernstrum, but the keeper couldn’t hold on to the rebound and Maher headed it in for a 3-0 lead.
Both teams substituted liberally from that point, and Carolina midfielder Marcio Leite finished off the scoring in the 79th minute. The Brazilian, who along with Maher plays indoor soccer with the Milwaukee Wave of the MISL, ripped an impressive 20-yard strike that got over Fernstrum and under the crossbar to seal the RailHawks’ Third Round matchup with the Chicago Fire.
Bavarian’s best chance was an 18-yard shot by Dale Weiler in the first half that Carolina keeper Chris McClellan had to tip wide.
(CAR) Connally Edozien 37’
(CAR) Anthony Maher 45’
(CAR) Anthony Maher 56’
(CAR) Marcio Leite 79’