For the first time in franchise history, Orlando City U23s celebrated a victory in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. They got their tournament run off to a strong start with a 2-1 win over the NPSL’s Jacksonville United at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla.
Orlando first qualified for the Open Cup in 2000 under the name Central Florida Kraze, and entering Wednesday night, had entered the competition a total of six times without producing a win (0-5-1, 0-1 in PKs). The winless streak, which included a 2-1 loss to Jacksonville in 2012, was the longest active Open Cup losing streak in American soccer.
In the first game of an Open Cup doubleheader with the Orlando City USL Pro team, Tyler Blackwood would score the lone Orlando City goal in the 30th minute after a shot from Romario Williams found the forward to rebound the shot toward the net. However, Jacksonville equalized the match at the halftime mark when Krizanovic converted on penalty kick.
With the match leveled, the U23s were given an opportunity to control the match when Jacksonville went down a man when Jay Bolt received a red card after a harsh tackle. Orlando City earned the second goal after their corner kick failed to clear the Jacksonville box, leading to an own-goal from the visiting side.
The match would end 2-1 in favor of the Young Lions, and set up another Open Cup rematch. On May 28, just like they did back in 2007, Orlando will travel to Blackbaud Stadium to take on the Charleston Battery of USL Pro.