Tampa Bay Sports Day

U.S .Open Cup: Jacksonville Shuts Out SIMA Aguilas, to Face Rowdies

The Jacksonville Armada FC advanced on to the Second Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup after shutting out PDL-side SIMA Aguilas 2-0 in Montverde, Fla. Wednesday night.

The Armada FC will now host the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the United Soccer League (USL) Wednesday, May 16 in Jacksonville for the next round.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Southern Oak Stadium.

The first half saw even possession with SIMA, and it was a tough battle to a scoreless end. The Armada FC fought back and dominated the second half with possession and two goals though.

Christian Silva claimed the first shot of the night, 11 minutes in. He received a pass from Conor Doyle in front of the night, but his shot went over.

SIMA had an opportunity in the 23rd minute when a cross was sent into the box but Brian Holt acted quick to secure it before the home team could capitalize.

The best chance in the first half went to Joshua Castellanos. He collected the ball in the 39th minute after Ciarán Kilduff flicked it back in front of the net. He fired away from a close distance, but SIMA cleared it off the line.

The first half began quick with the Armada FC with an attempt by Doyle and then Beckie.

The effort paid off in the 53rd minute though when Castellanos again collected a loose ball. Michael Melvin sent a cross in after a corner and it deflected off a SIMA defender. Castellanos was quick to react though and tucked away his first professional goal in his first professional start.

With momentum on the Armada FC’s side, Beckie made a critical sliding tackle after SIMA broke away and was gaining ground toward the net. His clean moves stopped SIMA in its tracks and kept the team off the scoreboard.

Holt then acted quick to make a save in the 68th minute and once again keep SIMA from scoring. This helped him to earn his first shut-out with the Armada FC.

Jacksonville’s lead doubled in the 76th minute. Doyle won the ball from SIMA in the midfield and drove forward to smash a goal in from 20 yards out – also his first goal for the Armada FC in the regular season.

The victory is the first time Jacksonville has won two matches in the U.S. Open Cup.