Greenville, SC – The first 75 minutes of the inaugural Palmetto Derby had all the makings of another special night at Legacy Early College Field in West Greenville, but it was the Palmetto State’s senior side that had the final say as the Charleston Battery defeated the Greenville Triumph 2-1 in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, ending the Triumph’s first run in the country’s oldest team sport tournament.
The Triumph came in to their first match against a USL Championship side following the club’s first round win against Tormenta FC last week. With a spot in the third round and trip to Nashville at stake, the Triumph took advantage of an injury-depleted Charleston squad early, controlling possession and creating a number of opportunities that culminated in the 29th minute as the club netted their first set piece goal of the season when an Aaron Walker corner kick was precisely headed in by recent Triumph signee Max Hemmings for the Georgia State grad’s first professional goal.
The second half saw the tides turn and the field tilt in favor of the Battery, as a stretch of four matches in eleven days caught up with a young Triumph squad. Charleston began to control possession and create a number of opportunities, taking 12 second half shots before finally equalizing in the 79th minute off a goal by Ian Svantesson. The match looked destined for extra time before Svantesson appeared again, netting his second in the first minute of stoppage time and breaking the hearts Triumph players and fans alike.
“I’m disappointed for the boys,” said Triumph head coach John Harkes. “We were the better team for a long stretch of the match but we need to work on being able to close teams out. Chances were there for us to get the second goal and not getting it came back to bite us.”
For the Triumph, a chance for redemption will come quickly with the next match in three days. The club will look to shift focus back to League One as they welcome Richmond on Saturday.
“It’s gutting for sure, but it’s early in the season,” said team captain Tyler Polak. “We just try to tell the young guys to take the most from the opportunity we got from the Open Cup and turn the focus back to our main goal, which is winning league matches.”
With the win, Charleston heads to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to take on Nashville Soccer Club in the third round on May 29th, while the Triumph return to USL League One play against the Richmond Kickers Saturday, May 18th as they celebrate Heroes Night. The pregame fan fest will begin at 5:00pm, with the match beginning at 7:00pm. Heroes Night promotions, tickets and ticket packs can be viewed by clicking here.
Greenville – 8, Charleston - 14
Greenville - 4, Charleston - 6
Greenville: Hemmings - 29'
Charleston: Svantesson - 79', 90+1'
CHS: van Schaik (caution) – 4’,
GVL: Clowes (caution) – 19’
Ejection Summary: N/A