South Georgia Tormenta and Myrtle Beach Mutiny battle for the ball in an all-PDL matchup in the 2018 US Open Cup. Photo: Ian Livinston Brooking
South Georgia Tormenta FC scored twice in the final 15 minutes to defeat the Myrtle Beach Mutiny 2-1 in the First Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Wednesday, May 9.
Two hundred and fifty people were on hand to see what was a very physical game at North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex. A hard foul on the Mutiny’s Romario Piggott forced the forward to step off the pitch for a moment while a crunching tackle by Alex Nelson of the Mutiny led to the defender being given a yellow. Twenty-six fouls were called throughout the match and five yellow cards were handed out.
The first 15 minutes of the match was dominated by Tormenta FC as a majority of their seven first half shots came within that time frame.
However, two of Tormenta FC’s best chances came minutes apart midway through the first half, with a shot going high over the bar in the 19th minute and a free kick rattling the crossbar just seven minutes later.
The Mutiny’s best chance in the first half came in the 31st minute as Nazeem Bartman’s shot went whiskers wide of the post, keeping the match scoreless with less than a quarter of an hour to play in the first half.
The Mutiny would control the first 15 minutes of the second half, creating more of an attacking presence and keeping Tormenta FC on their heels in their own half.
The constant pressure by the Mutiny led to a goal in the 56th by Myrtle Beach’s Rooby Dalusma. Dalusma gathered the loose ball outside the box, dribbled in and ripped a shot that breezed past Tormenta’s Pablo Jara and into the side netting.
John Miglarese, head coach of Tormenta FC, talked about the message he was telling his team from the sidelines after going down a goal.
“We’ve talked in the past week or so about finishing games strong and playing our best in the final 20 and 30 minutes,” said Miglarese. “I thought we had a great first half and we were unfortunate to not be a goal up. I have to give credit to Myrtle Beach as they had us on our heels and none of our schemes were working so we had to hang in there.”
Just over 10 minutes after scoring the opening goal, Dalusma had to be subbed off due an injury.
Tormenta would take this as an opportunity to up the pressure on the Mutiny defense. Jad Arslan zigged and zagged his way through the Mutiny defense and put the ball past Junior Santos, tying things up at a goal apiece in the 76th minute.
Miglarese talked about a possible extra-time game plan if the match was going to have an extra thirty minutes to decide a winner.
“We were watching our subs in case extra time happened,” said Miglarese. “Once we got that second goal, we burned our last sub to get an experienced defender.”
Six minutes later, Toni Soler’s free kick took a slight deflection but still found the back of the net to give Tormenta FC a 2-1 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining in the match.
“I think we showed a lot of character in the final 20 minutes,” said Miglarese. “We got a bit lucky with the deflection on the second goal but in the end, it’s a win.”
Tormenta FC now advance to the second round of the US Open Cup to play the USL’s Charleston Battery next Wednesday, May 16 at MUSC Health Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.