Orlando City 1 Charleston Battery 0

Filed under: Orlando City Soccer |

In another disjointed performance, Orlando City SC secured their second consecutive win on Saturday night as they beat Charleston Battery 1-0 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In his debut appearance, F.C. Dallas loanee Brian Span scored the only goal of the game that helped move City into first place in USL PRO.

“Apart from a few isolated incidents, I thought that it would have been a travesty had we not won the game tonight,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “Overall I’m pleased with the win, and I’m pleased that Cobi [Brian Span] got a goal because he’s been working very hard in training.”

In the past, the two teams have competed in some memorable games but this one was more like a game of chess as each team probed for an opening. The first half was a fairly even affair in terms of possession and actual quality of play but it was the Battery who created the better chances and only some last ditch Orlando defending prevented them going into the break with the lead.

The second half followed a similar pattern until Orlando Head Coach Adrian Heath rang the changes. In the 56th minute he brought on MLS FC Dallas loanee Brian “Cobi” Span and quickly followed that in the 60th minute as Dennis Chin and Adama Mbengue took the field. Immediately a new sense of urgency came into the Lions game and they started to put the Battery defence under some real pressure.

Several half chances went begging before Span found himself in an ocean of space from an Mbengue cross and he made no mistake, firing home into the roof of the net, in the 74th minute. 

The Battery then set their stall out to attack and in doing so, opened the game up so much that Orlando created further chances to put the game beyond doubt. Only a superb save from Battery keeper Cooper prevented Chin from making it two – nil before Mbengue was denied by a last gasp defensive clearance on the goal line by John Wilson.

Orlando and Charleston are responsible for the past four USL PRO Championships and it seems both teams are again destined for the play offs later in the year. Orlando now goes top in the USLPRO table and next week they will travel to take on F.C. Dallas reserves.

City’s next home game will take place on Wednesday, April 30, against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the I-4 Derby before returning back to league-play with another home fixture set for May 4 against OKC Energy F.C.

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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