Friday, July 6, 2012
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles took a 2-0 victory against the Charleston Battery on Friday night at Blackbaud Stadium in front of crowd of 4,437 fans. After a scoreless first half, Charlotte broke the deadlock in the 48th minute with a close-range finish from midfielder Nate Thornton. The Eagles added a second 11 minutes from time, earning their third consecutive victory as Charleston lost a second straight game.
Despite the loss the Battery (10-5-0) remains in second position in USL PRO, four points behind league-leading Orlando City. Charlotte (5-8-2) moves up into a tie for seventh position in the table.
The first half was very even with good chances for both teams. Charleston's best opportunity came in the 36th minute after Jose Cuevas slipped a pass through for Tony Donatelli, who faked a shot to evade his marker but saw his left-footed attempt well saved by Eagles goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
Just before halftime Charlotte also came very close with a good ball down the right side to forward Christian Meza, who struck a shot on frame, but the attempt was smothered by Battery goalkeeper Brock Duckworth.
Charlotte opened the scoring just after halftime through Thornton. After a long ball was lifted forward to Mauricio Salles at the edge of the penalty area, the forward lofted a header to the penalty spot for Thornton to receive and slip past Duckworth a he arrived late.
Charleston tried to respond and Cuevas volleyed over the bar two minutes later after an excellent cross in from the right flank. Charleston continued to press and Ryan Richter found substitute striker Dane Kelly 18 yards out in the 69th minute, but the Jamaican lifted his shot over the bar.
Charlotte put the game beyond doubt in the 79th minute off a corner from the left, when Guzman took a first-time shot from the top of the 18-yard-box that deflected off a Battery defender and into the net.
The Battery and the Eagles will face off again on Saturday night at Charlotte Christian High School Stadium; kickoff is set for 8 p.m., with the game being broadcast locally on 1340 AM. The Battery return home next Saturday, July 14th to play the Wilmington Hammerheads at 7:30 p.m.