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Charlotte FC knocked out of Open Cup with loss to Birmingham Legion FC

A lone goal in the second half gave Birmingham the advantage to win the match.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An upset victory for Birmingham Legion FC came at the expense of Charlotte FC in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16.

Birmingham's Kasim Prosper scored the match's only goal in the 60th minute with a brilliant strike from outside the penalty box that sneaked past Charlotte's Kristijan Kahlina and gave BLFC a 1-0 lead.

It's the second year in a row that Charlotte FC is knocked out of this competition in the Round of 16. 

Birmingham, a USL team, will play in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals for the first time in its history.

Charlotte played most of the second half one man down. Defender Adilson Malanda picked up his second yellow card of the match in the 51st minute and was given a red card. Both of Malanda's yellow cards came after hard-charging tackles.

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The Crown missed a few big opportunities to add goals that would have been crucial for the final result.

Brandon Cambridge had a shot similar to Prosper's find its way past the keeper before it ricocheted off the left crossbar in the first half. Karol Swiderski came close to notching in a goal at the end of the first half off a Christopher Hegardt free-kick cross, but his efforts were blocked by the goalkeeper.

The match was the first on the road for Charlotte FC in the 2023 U.S. Open Cup. Charlotte took down last year's winners Orlando City SC and South Georgia Tormenta FC in the previous two rounds in matches in Matthews.

Charlotte FC is back in action on Saturday to face LA Galaxy in MLS competition. Charlotte currently sits ninth in the Eastern Conference standings with 18 points.

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