Timbers eliminated from U.S. Open Cup by Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Ben Hollingsworth scored twice as the Charleston Battery came from behind to beat the Portland Timbers 3-1 Wednesday night in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Blackbaud Stadium.

The win advances the Battery to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup, a national tournament that pits qualified amateur and professional clubs against each other in a single-elimination format.

Luke Kreamalmeyer netted his fourth goal of the season for the Timbers, which leads the team.

Hollingsworth’s two goals were his sixth and seventh of the season for the Battery.

The Timbers jumped out to an early lead when Mamba Chisoni brought the ball down the left flank in the fifth minute. Chisoni crossed the ball to his opposite foot and brought the ball up towards the penalty area before crossing it to the far post where Kreamalmeyer was waiting to blast the volley into the back of the net and put the Timbers up 1-0.

Charleston drew even shortly before the half when, in the 36th minute, Hollingsworth headed home a corner kick from Luke Vercollone from six yards out.

The Battery increased their lead in the 78th minute after Gavin Glinton got on the end of a cross from Ian Fuller. Fuller played the ball over the Timbers defenders, Glinton raced onto the end of the cross and goalkeeper Josh Saunders was forced to leave his line. Saunders dived to save the shot, but Glinton chipped the ball over him and let the ball roll across the goal line for the 2-1 lead.

Charleston sealed the win in the 87th minute after Saunders took down Vercollone from behind in the penalty area. Referee Ronnie Canales immediately pointed to the penalty spot and Hollingsworth buried the shot beneath the diving Saunders to earn Charleston a berth in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.

The Timbers and the Battery face off for a second time on Friday in a USL First Division match on Friday, July 14. Kickoff for the match is scheduled for 5 p.m. (Pacific).

”I thought we played well for the first 10 or 15 minutes, but then we got out of our gameplan a bit and allowed them to creep back into the game. We had some great chances, particularly in the first half, but we weren’t able to cash them in and, in this league, you don’t get very many chances on the road. We needed to convert those opportunities, we didn’t, and we got beat.”

“We’ve lost a lot of players due to injury, but I think we’re a better team. We’ll make a few adjustments and come out on Friday with a slightly different strategy, and hopefully that will get us the result we’re looking for.”

NOTES: Kreamalmeyer’s goal was the Timbers’ first goal scored in open play in the last five matches, going back to June 17 at Rochester … defender Mike Randolph suffered an ankle injury and had to be substituted … defender Josh Brown, who is still recovering from a groin strain, also had to be subbed … Randolph is expected to be available for Friday’s match but Brown’s fitness is still questionable … Saunders is expected to be rested on Friday, with Bayard Elfvin to make the start in goal.

SCORING SUMMARY: POR: Kreamalmeyer 5’ (Chisoni); CHA: Hollingsworth 36’ (Vercollone), Glinton 78’ (Fuller), Hollingsworth 87’ (pen.).

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY: POR: Morrison YC (30’), Randolph YC (51’), Chisoni YC (63’), Poltl YC (72’), Saunders YC (89’); CHA: Alavanja YC (28’), Catalano YC (48’).

LINEUPS: PORTLAND: J. Saunders GK, S. Bullen D, J. Brown D (Poltl 45’), M. Randolph D (O. Bullen 65’), S. Thompson D, L. Morrison M, L. Kreamalmeyer M, H. Alcaraz-Cuellar M, M. Chisoni M, D. McAthy F (Gutierrez 63’), B. Alvarez F.
CHARLESTON: D. Hudock GK, T. Karalexis D, M. Watson D, B. Curran D, A. Catalano D, O. Daley M (Lesesne 84’), L. Alavanja M, B. Hollingsworth M, L. Vercollone M (Romero 89’), I. Fuller F, G. Glinton F (McKnight 87’).