FULLERTON, Calif. – A goal from José Correa in extra time proved the difference as Chivas USA defeated USL-Pro side Charlotte Eagles 2-1 at Titan Stadium on Tuesday night to advance to the US Open Cup semifinals for the second time in franchise history.
The striker tallied his second of the night deep into injury time after Charlotte looked to have forced extra time thanks to Mauricio Salles' 89th-minute effort.
The lower-division side came out blazing in the first 20 minutes of the match, pressuring the hosts seemingly whenever they touched the ball. This pressure helped them create a pair of chances in the 10th and 11th minutes. The first came when Jorge Herrera sent a looping cross that required goalkeeper Tim Melia to parry the ball over the bar. Just a minute later on the ensuing corner, the ball fell to Mark Bloom, who fired a shot low, forcing a diving save from Melia.
Chivas began to turn their possession into chances in the 30th minute when a Laurent Courtois side-volley that appeared destined for the net was deflected off Correa and over the bar. Courtois created another chance in the 40th minute when he launched a shot from close distance that forced a save from Charlotte goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
At the outset of the second half, the Goats ramped up the pressure and found the opening goal in the 64th minute when a play that began with Melia to Courtois, who chested the ball down to Juan Agudelo. The 19-year-old forward then fired a through ball to Correa, who calmly fired the shot past the Charlotte goalkeeper for the first goal.
With the seconds winding down, Charlotte found a goal one minute from time when Herrera saw his shot deflected off the foot of Chivas defender James Riley. The deflection in turn fell to the foot of Mauricio Salles, who calmly placed the shot past Melia.
The match appeared destined for extra time, but a Courtois free kick three-and-a-half minutes into stoppage time was nodded in by Correa, sending Chivas into the semifinals.
Chivas USA will now face three-time Open Cup champion Seattle Sounders at the Starfire Complex in Tukwila, Wash., on July 10.
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.