Saturday, July 14, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After a long rain delay, the Charlotte Eagles took a 2-0 victory against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday night at Charlotte Christian Stadium. The victory was the Eagles’ fifth in a row in USL PRO, as Devon Grousis and Chris Salvaggione each scored their first goals of the season to maintain the side’s playoff push.
The game was delayed in the third minute as lightning and heavy rain swept through the Charlotte area. The game was able to resume at 10:30 p.m. after a delay of more than two hours. Pittsburgh started off strongly, testing Eric Reed early, but were not able to come up with goal. Charlotte did not have a real chance in the first half-hour, but gained an advantage after a dangerous play by Nikola Katic in the 33rd minute against Cheyne Roberts saw the Riverhounds’ defender be shown a red card, putting Pittsburgh down a man.
The Eagles quickly took advantage, as Mauricio Salles took the ensuing free kick from 30 yards out and drove the ball right into the center of the penalty area to find Grousis, who was able to beat his defender in the air and redirected his header past the goalkeeper, putting the Eagles up 1-0.
Pittsburgh continued to play aggressively despite being down a man, and almost equalized in the 39th minute, only for their effort to come back off the crossbar. The Riverhounds continued to push in the second half, while the Eagles were boosted by the introduction of substitutes Ben Page and Chris Salvaggione in the second half, with the duo producing a couple of near misses late in the second half.
Salvaggione finally put the game away in second-half stoppage time as he was able to flick an effort into the back of the net. Moments later the final whistle blew, giving the Eagles a 2-0 victory.
The Eagles remain at home next weekend as they host in-state rival the Wilmington Hammerheads on Saturday night at Charlotte Christian Stadium at 7 p.m. The Riverhounds return home next Friday night as the Harrisburg City Islanders visit for the another installment of the Keystone Derby at Chartiers Valley Stadium.