By Alex McLoughlin/Asheville City SC
Asheville City won the 2019 Carolina Clasico on aggregate after a hard-fought 0-0 draw in the
second leg at Memorial Stadium.
The first leg in Greenville ended 2-2 on May 11. As it stood, Asheville City would win the
Clasico on away goals. But when the game started, the Blues didn’t seem satisfied with sitting
back. They went on the attack early as Chris Allan whipped a dangerous cross into the box in
just the second minute.
The offensive onslaught continued for minutes when Dylan Burke chipped a great through pass
to Allan who sent a laser at Greenville keeper Paul Tyson. Greenville decided to launch an
attack of their own and earned the match’s first corner kick in the sixth minute.
The Blues fought off the visitors’ attack and got their offense going again. Frank Rosenwald got
the best scoring chance yet with a low shot just wide of goal in the ninth minute. After an 11 th –
minute Kyle McCurley cross into the box, both teams put on a passing clinic.
Each side passed the ball around in its own half without being able to establish any solid goal-
scoring opportunities. It was much of the same for the remainder of the first half, although the
Blues were able to string some solid passes together in the final third.
Asheville City started the second half with renewed offensive intensity. McCurley ripped a
rocket from distance over the bar early in the half. Rosenwald saw a point-blank shot saved and
sent out for a corner. A nearly identical play happened in the 56 th minute. The Blues were
tantalizingly close to getting their goal they’d worked hard for.
Newcomer Rory O’Keeffe looked to have that goal in the 65 th minute, but his right-footed missile
went just wide of the post. Asheville City had all the momentum, but Greenville was sneakily
turning small touches into longer spells of possession.
The complexion of the game changed entirely in the 75 th minute when two players for each team
were sent off. The remaining 15 minutes would be played with nine players per side.
In the absence of four players there was a plethora of space on the field. Neither side was able to
take advantage however, as no true scoring chances presented themselves. The match ended in a
0-0 draw, but it was enough for Asheville City to win the Carolina Clasico for the first time.
The Blues will be back in action at Chattanooga FC on June 29.
Photo Credit: Tori Heck