Louisville City FC on Wednesday night coasted to the next round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in record fashion.
Cameron Lancaster scored twice, three of his teammates registered their first LouCity goals, and the club went on to beat amateur side Tartan Devils Oak Avalon by a 9-0 score at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh.
“When you look at how our guys approached the game, we tried to move the ball quickly and do the things we spoke about,” said LouCity coach James O’Connor. “The difficulty when you get a game like that is to not pay them respect or play them how you normally do. We played the game in a really professional manner.”
The final tally marked the most goals scored by LouCity in a single game, eclipsing the six racked up on Oklahoma City Energy FC in a June 27, 2015 game at Louisville Slugger Field.
As a result, LouCity advanced to a Third Round matchup against FC Cincinnati, a 1-0 overtime winner Wednesday against AFC Cleveland, to be played May 31 at Nippert Stadium. Other details will be announced later.
LouCity opened scoring in the eighth minute, when Ilic’s shot bounced off the post, at the keeper and in the back of the net. From there, the visitors controlled a game where Opta statistics registered them with 75.5 percent of the possession.
Tartan Devils Oak Avalon conceded again in the 16th minute when Sean Totsch delivered a lengthy cross to Mark-Anthony Kaye, who headed in a goal. Ballard scored his first professional goal in the 22nd and Ilic was later credited with one in the 41st, sending LouCity into the locker room ahead 4-0.
In the second half, Cameron Lancaster converted on an assist from Ilic before Totsch (68th minute) headed in a corner kick by Oscar Jimenez for his first LouCity goal. Minutes later, Jimenez netted a shot of his own. Lancaster (81st) minute and Guy Abend (85th minute) rounded out the scoring.
“I’m obviously very pleased with the professionalism of our players,” O’Connor said. “There are some players who have been unfortunate not to get more minutes so far this season, so it’s great to get the full 90 minutes from multiple players tonight.”
LouCity returned to its winning ways just days after suffering its first defeat of the season, by a 2-0 score to the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The club had opened its season on a run of six straight games unbeaten. A return to United Soccer League play is set for Saturday, also at Highmark Stadium, against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
The U.S. Open Cup continues throughout the summer, with Major League sides entering in the Fourth Round. In 2015 LouCity took the Chicago Fire to overtime before falling 1-0, marking its deepest run in the single-elimination tournament.