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 North Carolina FC

Heartbreaker against Phoenix Sees North Carolina FC Open Cup Run End

by Fran Stuchbury
May 10, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
North Carolina FC

North Carolina FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC in the US Open Cup
North Carolina FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC in the US Open Cup
(North Carolina FC, Credit: Fran Stuchbury)

North Carolina FC lost to Phoenix Rising FC 2-1 in extra time in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 in front of 822 fans at WakeMed Soccer Park Wednesday evening. The match start was delayed to a 7:27 kickoff due to weather.

Phoenix advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time in franchise history, where they will face Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday, May 22nd at 10:30 pm est.

Rising opened the scoring in the ninth minute on a goal by defender Juan Carlos Azócar. He signed with the team on December 15th, 2023.

"I think a lot of effort was given this evening, obviously we were up against it for the better part of the second half in the overtime and in terms of the red cards and that kind of stuff," said North Carolina FC Head Coach John Bradford. "I really give credit to the guys that were out there and fighting as hard as they could throughout. The details in terms of an early goal that has no business being defended, the way we defended it, and allow you to come in changes the game and obviously we anticipate it's going to be a physical match and it was, but we've got to be able to keep our heads better. Don't let the referee make decisions that could go either way, but that ultimately go a way that didn't help us."

North Carolina FC tied the game late in the second half on a goal in the 80th minute by defender Justin Malou, his first North Carolina goal in all competitions. He played with USL Championship side FC Tulsa last season.

With the score knotted 1-1 at the end of regulation the game saw two additional fifteen minute periods.

Phoenix scored the game winner in the 110th minute on a shot by 19-year-old midfielder Giulio Doratiotto. He spent the past two seasons with Juventus U-19s in the Campionato Primavera 1, the U-19 league for clubs playing in the Italian Serie A. Doratiotto made 28 appearances for Juventus U-19s since his debut in 2021.

North Carolina FC's next game will be on Tuesday at home against Loudoun United at 7 pm est.

Images from this story

North Carolina FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC in the US Open Cup
North Carolina FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC in the US Open Cup

(Fran Stuchbury)

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