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Phoenix SC, Junior Lone Star U23s advance to third round of U.S. Open Cup qualifying

Two local teams one win away from qualifying for 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

Matt Ralph

Phoenix Sport Club and Junior Lone Star FC’s U23 team inched closer to qualifying for the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with wins over local rivals over the weekend.

Phoenix SC stunned West Chester United in stoppage time on Saturday night when Ben Castor capitalized on a mistake in the back to score the game’s only goal. Goalkeeper Troy Pratico stopped a penalty in the first half and made a number of other saves to keep West Chester United off the score sheet.

Phoenix SC last qualified for the U.S. Open Cup in 2011, losing to Rochester Rhinos 2-1. To get back, they’ll have to knock off a team that was the feel-good story of the 2017 tournament, Christos FC. The Maryland amateur club knocked off Fredericksburg FC, Chicago FC United and Rochester Rhinos to reach the fourth round last year, ultimately losing to D.C. United.

Christos FC will host the match on either November 18 or 19.

The Junior Lone Star U23s had to came from behind to knock off United German Hungarians 3-2 on Sunday afternoon. Elijah Ema, Emmanuel Amao and John Quaye scored for Junior Lone Star in the match. Junior Lone Star’s senior team advanced to the Open Cup proper for the first time last year, losing in the first round at Ocean City Nor’easters.

The U23s will travel to New York for the third round to face Lansdowne Bhoys FC on November 18 or 19.

The Bhoys advanced all the way to the third round of the 2017 U.S. Open Cup with wins over PDL club Long Island Rough Riders and USL club Pittsburgh Riverhounds before falling 2-0 to Rochester Rhinos in the third round.