Brave SC launched a new era Tuesday night, playing its first game under the new moniker. However, the club’s run in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup was short-lived as the Buffalo suffered a 2-0 loss to Savannah Clovers FC in the opening round of the tournament at The Range at H.G. Morse Stadium in Middleton.

Two first-half goals by the visiting NISA side were enough to send the squad back to Georgia victorious, while the Buffalo will have to wait for the USL League Two season to earn their first win as Brave SC.

“We needed to build a little bit faster, get the ball out of the back and get possession in their half,” Brave SC head coach Anderson DaSilva said. “That ended up costing us a couple goals.”

Neither side was especially creative in the opening minutes, but Savannah’s aggression began to trouble the Buffalo as the match wore on.

“They were very physical and more aggressive,” DaSilva said. “They’re professional players and were overall more aggressive than us. But, other than a few mistakes we had in the back, I think the team handled it pretty well.”

Those mistakes proved costly, though. One, a misplayed pass by goalkeeper Yago Darub, led to the Clovers’ first goal by Roddy Green in the 29th minute.

The Buffalo were seconds away from escaping to halftime down by just one, but another mistake left an opening for Vladimir Jokic, who scored in the second minute of first-half stoppage.

Brave SC created a few chances in the second half, including two shots saved by Savannah keeper Jack Crichton and one each by Daniel Oliveira and Austin Lukasik that missed the frame.

“We came back in the second half a little bit better, with more speed in the wide areas and with two forwards and we created some good opportunities to score,” DaSilva said, “but we couldn’t score tonight.”

Tuesday’s loss marks the first time the Buffalo have bowed out in the first round of the Open Cup since 2018. Still two months removed from the USL2 regular season, DaSilva is confident that the tournament loss won’t have any bearing on the Buffalo’s success as they prepare to defend their 2023 division and conference championships.

“It was a good opportunity to host the first professional team at home and it was such a short time to get prepared,” he said. “The team for the upcoming season looks promising.”

Brave SC will open the USL League Two campaign May 20 at Florida Elite SA. The Buffalo’s home opener will be June 1 at The Villages High School’s Buffalo Ridge campus. For a full schedule, click here.