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Charlotte FC advances to Round of 16 in Open Cup with 1-0 win

Kamil Józwiak scored the match's only goal to give Charlotte FC the advantage.
Credit: AP
Charlotte FC forward Karol Świderski (11) controls the ball during an MLS soccer match against the New England Revolution, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Westerholt)

MATTHEWS, N.C. — A brilliant defensive effort from Charlotte FC kept Orlando City SC off the board and helped the former team advance in the 2023 U.S. Open Cup.

Kamil Józwiak scored the match's only goal in the second half by tip-toeing his way around defenders and making a shot while losing his balance that gave Charlotte a late slim lead.

Although the final score was 1-0 in Charlotte's favor, there were plenty of offensive attempts that seemed destined for goals only to be thwarted by an off-target shot or a defensive push.

Orlando City had two corner kick attempts within one minute midway through the first half but errant headers ended any hope of either attempt finding the net. 

Early in the second half, Charlotte FC was pressing in the box when Enzo Copetti was forced to the ground by Orlando's goalkeeper and a defender before he was able to make a shot at the goal. Copetti pleaded for a penalty to no avail.

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It wasn't until the 70th minute that Józwiak took a wobbly pass from  Karol Swiderski and tripped his way past a defender that a score was put on the board. Józwiak's relentless effort pushed Charlotte up 1-0.

Charlotte's biggest scare came just minutes later when defender Derrick Jones intercepted an Orlando pass before tripping as he was about to pass it to goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina. Orlando's Ivan Angulo charged on the ball and fired a pass to Duncan McGuire who had a clear shot at a goal but widely missed the mark with his shot.

Orlando City continued to challenge for the equalizer but was unable to score and awarded a clean sheet to Kahlina.

Charlotte now advances to the Round of 16 in the U.S. Open Cup for the second time in its two-year history. Last season, Charlotte lost to the New York City Red Bulls 5-1 in the Round of 16.

The Round of 16 will take place on May 23 and May 24.

Charlotte sits 12th in the MLS Eastern Conference standings. The team's next match is against Atlanta United on Saturday.

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