Chattanooga FC is the only NPSL team remaining in the 2015 U.S. Open Cup after a difficult evening for the league’s teams.  The next few weeks will be extremely busy for the Tennessee side as they have league play, the next round of the USOC, and the US Soccer National Amateur Championship to contend with.

Wilmington Hammerheads (USL) 1, Chattanooga FC (NPSL) 1 (3-5, PKs) 
It was deja vu for Chattanooga FC as they eliminated Wilmington Hammerheads for the second year in a row to set up a rematch with the Atlanta Silverbacks. Chattanooga prevailed in a shootout after 120 minutes left both teams tied 1-1. Wilmington’s Nick Zimmerman gave his side the lead in the first half before Chris Ochieng finished a nice move from Chattanooga to level the score. There were no more goals through extra time and Jon Finlay eventually converted the decisive spot kick. Chattanooga will hope for a better time against Atlanta this time around: in 2014 they lost 5-1.

Richmond Kickers (USL) 2, Virginia Beach City (NPSL) 0 
Richmond Kickers overcame Virginia Beach City FC courtesy of two second-half headers. Neither side landed a hit in the first half but it took the hosts only two minutes after the break to strike the first blow. Nate Shiffman headed home a corner kick to set Richmond on their way. Jason Yeisley added an insurance goal when he slammed home an 89th minute diving header off an assist from Fred Owusu Sekyere. Jacksonville Armada comes to Richmond next week to face the Kickers.

Rochester Rhinos (USL) 1, Greater Binghamton FC (NPSL) 0 
Rochester Rhinos got their 2015 Open Cup off to a rolling start by beating Greater Binghamton FC 1-0. Kenardo Forbes tallied the game’s only goal when he converted on a chance in the 39th minute for the hosts. Greater Binghamton had a few chances in the second half, but couldn’t muster the tying goal as the Rhinos backline held firm to complete the shutout. Rochester travels to Harrisburg next week to meet the Islanders.

Lansing United (PDL) 0, Louisville City FC (USL) 1 
There were first-half fireworks in the Capital City with six shots for Louisville City FC and four for hosts Lansing United but neither team was able to break the deadlock. That changed two minutes into the second half when Charlie Adams blasted a shot into the net off a deflection to give Louisville a lead they would not relinquish. Lansing had a chance in the 88th minute but fired over the Louisville goal and the score would not change before the final whistle. Louisville travels across state lines to Indianapolis next week for a showdown with Indy Eleven.

Charleston Battery (USL) 1, Miami United FC (NPSL) 0 
It was a scrappy game in Charleston tonight, but there had to be a winner and the hosts prevailed in a tight contest. Heviel Cordoves scored the only goal and followed it up with a red card in the second half. Charleston held on for the final six minutes with 10 men to bring the match to the end. The Black and Yellow play host to Ft. Lauderdale Strikers next Wednesday.

Charlotte Independence (USL) 4, Upward Stars (NPSL) 1 
Charlotte Independence ended Upward Stars’ tournament with an emphatic 4-1 comeback win. The Stars got things rolling with a surprise goal in the 11th minute in Charlotte but it was not long before the home side collected themselves and got control of the match. Tomasz Zahorski tied the game in the 19th minute and Enzo Martinez’ 40th header was the eventual winner. Zahorski went on to tally the first hat trick of the 2015 Open Cup with additional goals in the 44th and 90th minute. Charlotte travels to face the Carolina RailHawks next.

Sacramento Republic FC (USL) 4, Sonoma County Sol (NPSL) 2 
Sacramento Republic FC and Sonoma County Sol treated a record crowd to an Open Cup thriller in California’s capital Wednesday night. 10,386 fans went home happy as Sacramento prevailed 4-2, but not without a serious threat of burn by the Sol. The hosts got the best possible start when Tommy Stewart cleaned up a rebound in the 9th minute off a shot from distance. Gabe Gonzalez doubled the lead three minutes later but Omar Nuno brought the visitors back in the game when he scored a contender for goal of the round, crushing a 20-yard drive into the top corner in the 26th minute. Stewart completed his hat trick with goals in the 43rd the 61st minutes but the sun would not set on the Sol. Nuno notched a 73rd minute goal before a penalty call gave the visitors a gleaming opportunity. But Taylor Varnadore hit the post and from there Republic was able to see out the game. The attendance of 10,386 at Bonney Field was an Open Cup Second Round record, breaking the previous record of 9,339 set by the Columbus Crew in 2001.

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