CARY — The Carolina RailHawks fought off a pesky Carolina Dynamo team to continue on in the U.S. Open Cup.
The RailHawks defeated the Dynamo of Greensboro 3-1 Tuesday night in a game that wasn’t decided until late in the second half.
The RailHawks will host two-time Major League Soccer champion LA Galaxy in the third round Wednesday at 7 p.m.
“I am happy with the result and happy to move on to the next run,” RailHawks coach Collin Clarke said. “I’m disappointed we didn’t score more goals, but we knew it would be a tough night. This was the Cup final for the Dynamo.”
The Dynamo plays in the Premier Development League, one level below the RailHawks’ North American Soccer League. But the Dynamo didn’t play like a little brother to big brother early on.
The game was scoreless until the 25-minute, 30-second mark in the first half when RailHawks midfielder Tiyiselani Shipalane’s deflected kick trickled into the net.
Although the RailHawks were on the offensive for most of the half, the Dynamo’s defense kept the game close. Their defensive effort was rewarded at 39:19 with an own goal for a 1-1 halftime tie.
“Their defense was quite deep,” said RailHawk Kevin Rutkiewicz, who started his first game. “But Zack (Schilawski) came in and gave us a spark in the second half. We’ve got a lot to improve on for next week.”
Austen King put the RailHawks ahead for good with a beautiful back header off Austin da Luz’s assist at 52:14 in the second half. The RailHawks then played keep-away, or basketball’s version of a stall offense, until Schilawski found an opening after an assist from Shipalane to go ahead 3-1 at the 75:32 mark.
The win takes away some of the sting the RailHawks (4-2-2) experienced after their loss Saturday at Atlanta. They are 11-4-1 in U.S. Open Cups.
The RailHawks upset the Galaxy last season 2-1 in a come-from-behind victory.
“(LA’s) got quality and a lot of depth,” Clarke said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to play against the best team in the last four or five years, and hopefully fans will see us come out with a win.”