By AARON CRANFORD
The Orlando City Lions will head to the MLS without their sixth USL Pro title, following a shocking 1-0 playoff quarterfinal loss to the Harrisburg City Islanders.
Philadelphia Union loanee Antoine Hoppenot scored the only goal of the match in the 40th minute. Jamiel Hardware played a perfect pass on the goal, splitting the defense to find Hoppenot, who beat Carl Woszczynski to score the only goal in front of 4,855 fans.
Both sides had many opportunities, but the Islanders held USL Pro scoring leader, Kevin Molino without a single shot on the night.
The Islanders’ Robbie Derschang was shown a red card in the 90th minute, so he will miss the semifinal match against Richmond, but that didn’t stop the Islanders from celebrating their massive upset when the final whistle blew.
The eighth-seeded Islanders will look to upset another top team, when they visit Richmond on Saturday.
Here is a look at the rest of the USL Pro playoff quarterfinal results:
KICKERS ADVANCE PAST BATTERY IN EXTRA TIME
Matthew Delicâte entered the game in the 117th minute and won it in the 117th minute. After Odisnel Cooper punched a ball away from the penalty box, Juan Arbelaez crossed the ball across the penalty area, and Delicâte met it with a header.
The Kickers scored first in the 11th minute, after Collin Martin pounced on a rebounded ball in the box. Cooper made a spectacular save from a free kick, but no one could clear the ball in the box, and Martin drilled it into the bottom-right corner.
The Battery responded in the 64th minute. Dane Kelly side-stepped a defender on the right and blasted a shot past the keeper and into top-right corner of the net.
The Kickers will play the Harrisburg City Islanders in Richmond on Saturday.
SELLOUT SEES REPUBLIC TOP HAMMERHEADS
In front of 8,000 fans, the Sacramento Republic easily defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads 4-1, with Nemanja Vukovic scoring a brace.
Vokovic scored his first in the 40th minute, when he headed a Max Alvarez’ corner kick toward goal. The Hammerheads’ Samuel Ochoa equalized from the penalty spot in the 58th minute, but in the 64th minute, Mickey Daly headed in yet another goal from a Rodrigo Lopez corner kick.
Vukovic quickly scored his second in the 67th minute, after he connected with Thomas Stewart’s header to redirect the ball toward goal. Adam Jahn, San Jose Earthquakes loanee, score the fourth goal in the 88th minute to assure the Republic’s advancement.
The Republic will host LA Galaxy II on Saturday.
LOS DOS ADVANCE AFTER COMEBACK
The Rhinos scored first, but could not force the upset against LA Galaxy II.
The team’s leading regular-season goalscorer Jimmy Banks sprinted down the middle of the pitch, and when the ball was played to him, he blasted it over Brian Perk. LA II were awarded a penalty due to a handball from the Rhinos’ Tony Walls. Chandler Hoffman scored the subsequent penalty.
In the 62nd minute, Hoffman received a pass on the left wing and sprinted down the side, blasting a cross into the penalty area, allowing Charlie Rugg to make a simple tap-in to score the game-winning goal.
LA Galaxy II will travel to Sacramento to play their semifinal match against the Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday.