FULLERTON – In the blink of an eye the Charlotte Eagles went from exuberance to having their Cinderella US Open Cup run come to an end. The Eagles were undone by two goals from Chivas USA forward Jose Correa in front of an estimated 1,500 fans at Titan Stadium, falling on a last-second goal reminiscent of the last time the two sides met in 2005.
The Goats will now go into their second-ever US Open Cup Semifinal, heading on the road to face the Seattle Sounders July 10 at Starfire Soccer Complex in Tukwila, Wash.
The game went for 63 scoreless minutes before Correa put the Goats ahead, 1-0. However, before their first goal Chivas had an amazing opportunity in the first half to go ahead. A bouncing ball came near the top of the box and Chivas midfielder Laurent Courtois placed a foot on it. It looked goal bound until Correa redirected it over the bar.
Juan Agudelo, who came on in the 39th minute for an injured Miller Bolaños, engineered a counterattack and threaded the Eagles’ defense to find Correa who patiently slotted the ball in for his first goal of the night.
After that the Eagles pushed ahead for an equalizer. Chivas had dominated possession and shots for most of the night, but after their goal Charlotte pushed ahead. They went with a more attacking formation with their substitutions and brought on Mauricio Salles in the 84th minute.
Five minutes later Salles leveled the game. Jorge Herrera received a pass deep in the box and danced around on the ball amidst the defenders looking for an open chance. Once he got it, the shot ended up defecting off of a Chivas defender and wound up right in front of Salles, who put the game all square from the corner of the six and growing anticipation among the crowd of a potential upset.
Their hopes were dashed though when Correa came through at the death of the game in the 94th minute. Courtois sent a looping free kick into a crashing Correa, who later said, “Juan gave me a little help”, for his second goal of the evening and a trip to Seattle to try and dethrone the three-time winners of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
It was a repeat of previous Eagles heartbreak at the hands of Chivas USA, who were playing in their first-ever US Open Cup match in the Third Round of 2005. The two sides were tied 2-2 in North Carolina and headed to penalties when Isaac Romo struck for the winner in the 120th minute.
Titan Stadium, Cal State Fullerton
Chivas USA (MLS) 2, Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro) 1
Chivas — Jose Erik Correa (Juan Agudelo) 64
Charlotte — Mauricio Salles 89
Chivas — Jose Erik Correa (Laurent Courtois) 94+
Chivas USA: Tim Melia; James Riley, Danny Califf, Rauwshan McKenzie, Jorge Villafaña; Blair Gavin, Peter Vagenas (Ben Zemanski, 46); Miller Bolaños, Paolo Cardozo (Juan Pablo Angel, 72), Laurent Courtois; Jose Erik Correa (Juan Agudelo, 39). Unused subs: Ante Jazic, Dan Kennedy, Alejandro Moreno, Cesar Romero.
Charlotte Eagles: Clint Irwin; Mark Bloom, Devon Grovsis, Josh Rife, Luke Williams (Miguel Ferrer, 78); Nate Thornton (Christian Meza, 61), Juan Guzman, Darren Toby (Mauricio Salles, 84), Jorge Herrera; Joseph Kabwe, Darryl Roberts. Unused subs: Sean Bateau, Eric Reed, Cheyne Roberts, Chris Salvaggione.
Yellow card: Bloom 32.
Charlotte: 9 shots, 4 saves, 7 fouls, 5 corners, 2 offsides
Chivas USA: 16 shots, 4 saves, 8 fouls, 4 corners, 0 offsides
Referee: Chris Penso. Assistants: Fabio Tovar, Marlene Duffy, Juan Guzman (4th)