Saturday, August 3, 2013
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Charleston Battery handed the Richmond Kickers their first defeat of the season on Saturday night as Mike Azira scored twice in a 5-2 victory at Blackbaud Stadium in front of 3,460 fans. The result snapped Richmond’s record-breaking 22-game USL PRO unbeaten streak, and earned the Battery a little revenge on their long-time rival following their defeat earlier in the season at City Stadium.
With the win Charleston improves to 11-6-6, 39 points and remains in fourth position in the USL PRO standings.
The Battery opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after midfielder Bryce Alderson picked out Colin Falvey with a curling cross from the left side. Falvey beat his defender to the ball and headed past Richmond goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra into the goal.
Two minutes later Charleston doubled its lead after a Richmond clearance was picked off at midfield by Jose Cuevas. The 2012 USL PRO Rookie of the Year passed the ball forward to Azira, who drilled a low shot past Dykstra into the bottom left corner for his first goal of the night.
Richmond responded with a goal at the stroke of halftime as midfielder Alex Lee drifted between the two Charleston central-defenders and directed a header over Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper.
The Battery restored their two-goal advantage three minutes into the second half as Dane Kelly notched his team-leading eighth goal of the season. Richmond fought back again to make it 3-2 in the 72nd minute with veteran striker Matt Delicate volleying home from a corner.
The game hung in the balance until the 84th minute with Richmond pressing hard to find an equalizer. The Battery managed to break clear with Azira surging down field with the ball. Dykstra came off his line to close the angle but Azira slipped the ball past him to make it 4-2, giving the midfielder five goals this season.
Substitute forward Heviel Cordoves put the game beyond doubt in stoppage time scoring Charleston’s fifth of the night with a hard left-footed strike from 12 yards out.
The Battery travel to the west coast next week for a pair of games. On Thursday, Charleston squares off with the Los Angeles Blues (10:30 p.m. ET) and on Saturday the Battery take on Phoenix FC (7:30 p.m. ET); both games will be broadcast live on Sports Radio 1450 AM.