Players from North Carolina FC and Lansdowne Bhoys FC battle for the ball in their 2018 US Open Cup match. Photo: Rob Kinnan, NCFC
In their relatively storied Open Cup history, North Carolina FC (nee the RailHawks) had never lost to an amateur team. That run continued as they routed Lansdowne Bhoys 3-0 on Wednesday night behind goals from Connor Tobin, Marios Lomis, and Bernhard Luxbacher.
The rout started early at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary as NCFC pushed forward right from the kickoff, earning themselves a corner kick in the first minute. Kyle Bekker’s ball glanced off the head of Austin da Luz and snuck through to Connor Tobin, who smashed home a rare goal for the centerback.
Lansdowne didn’t generate much work for NCFC goalkeeper Austin Guerrero in the first half–their best chance was a scuffed touch behind the backline. Lansdowne goalkeeper Abdoukarim Danso (brother of NCFC centerback Futty Danso) had to work to avoid a 2-0 deficit, on the other hand. He got fingertip to a Andre Fortune shot that hit the post in the 26th minute, fought off a near own goal in the 30th minute, and pushed another shot off the post in the 42nd.
In the 44th minute, however, the hosts broke through after a smart throw-in down the line played Fortune behind the Lansdowne line. Lomis easily powered his cross home to double the advantage before the halftime whistle.
Abdoukarim Danso’s heroics once again went unrewarded in the second half, as just a minute after an amazing one-on-one save on Lomis, Luxbacher put home the third. In the 74th minute, Kyle Bekker found Luxbacher with a looping ball behind the backline. One touch put Luxbacher behind Abdoukarim Danso and, having struggled with his shot all game, the Swiss midfielder decided to simply escort the ball into the net.
With the win, North Carolina FC improves to 7-0-0 all-time against amateur teams in this tournament. They advance to the Third Round where they will host the Ocean City Nor’easters of the PDL on Tuesday, May 22.