Orlando City Extends Lead At Top Of USL PRO With 2-0 Win Over Charleston Battery

Filed under: Orlando City Soccer |

Corey Hertzog scores for Orlando City Soccer vs. Charleston Battery, 31 May 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

Corey Hertzog scored his first goal of the season in USL PRO league play on Saturday night as the Orlando City Lions took a 2-0 victory over the Charleston Battery at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Kevin Molino, the leading goalscorer in USL PRO added the second in the second half.

 Corey Hertzog scores for Orlando City Soccer vs. Charleston Battery, 31 May 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

“It’s been an incredible effort from the guys, dealing with 10 games in a month,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “Hats off to them, but we’ll get back to work on Tuesday and begin preparing for Montreal.”

Orlando City spent the majority of the first half attempting to break through Charleston’s resolute defensive lines. The Battery always seem to have a game plan of defending well and trying to catch Orlando sleeping and tonight was no exception as they attempted to exploit forward Mamadou Diouf’s pace on the counter.

Corey Hertzog - Orlando City Soccer vs. Charleston Battery, 31 May 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

On the verge of half time Orlando broke through and a neat header by Hertzog found the right hand corner of the net to give Hertzog his first league goal of the season. It’s a goal that has been threatening to come for a few weeks now as Hertzog now looks a lean mean machine compared to the start of the season and he has clearly upped his work rate to give the team more options when going forward.

“Overall we’re really pleased for Corey,” added Heath. “He got his reward tonight for the work he’s put in throughout the past few games.”

Prior to Hertzog’s finish, Orlando had several other chances to score towards the end of the first half. City’s first real chance came in the 21st minute when Austin da Luz curled an effort that went just over the cross bar. A minute later Molino scampered past the Battery defense and surged into the box after a poor giveaway from Charleston near the half-line. Rather than shooting from a difficult angle, Molino opted to pull it across the box for Hertzog, but Charleston Defender John Wilson was able to get there first and clear it away.

Half Time: 1-0

The second half featured an increased sense of urgency from Charleston who were in desperate search of an equalizer. It was pretty much one way traffic for the first 20 minutes of the second half as the Battery created several nervous moments for Orlando through crosses and set-pieces.

Miguel Gallardo makes a save for Orlando City Soccer vs. Charleston Battery, 31 May 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

The closest chance for the South Carolina based club came in the 53rd minute when Diouf’s strike rattled off the far post. Miguel Gallardo, in the City goal was a busy man as he repelled attack after attack including an excellent save from a free kick shortly afterwards.

Kevin Molino scores for Orlando City Soccer vs. Charleston Battery, 31 May 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

As usual, in situations like this, something has to give and it did in the 76th minute as Battery keeper Odisnel Cooper slipped as he took a goal kick. The ball found Brian Span, who had come on as a substitute for Adama Mbengue in the 56th minute, and he quickly released it to Austin da Luz who closed in on goal before unselfishly rolling it across to Molino (pictured below) to apply the finish. It was a bitter blow for the Battery who had looked like gaining an equaliser and it was particularly unfortunate for Cooper who had had a very good game until then.

Kevin Molino - Orlando City Soccer vs. Charleston Battery, 31 May 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

With the win, Orlando continues to maintain its unbeaten run that dates back to February. Since losing its first preseason game to the Chicago Fire, Orlando has not lost a match to a professional sports team from the United States.

City’s next match will take place on Saturday, June 7, against the Montreal Impact Reserves. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Scoring Summary:

ORL- Corey Hertzog (Kevin Molino) 42’

ORL- Kevin Molino (Austin da Luz) 76’


Orlando City SC- GK Miguel Gallardo, D Tyler Turner, Brad Rusin, Tommy Redding, Luke Boden, M Adama Mbengue (Brian Span 56’), Yordany Alvarez, Austin da Luz (Aodhan Quinn 80’), Darwin Ceren, F Corey Hertzog (Mikey Lopez 70’) Kevin Molino (Anthony Pulis 77’)

Charleston Battery- GK Odisnel Cooper, D Taylor Mueller, Colin Falvey, John Wilson, Shawn Ferguson, M Amadou Sanyang, Jarad Van Schaik (Justin Portillo 86’), Andrew Lewis (Maikel Chang 73’), Quinton Griffith (Adam Mena 80’), Zach Prince (Haviel Cordovoes 73’), F Mamadou Diouf

Disciplinary Summary:

CHA- Zach Prince (Yellow Card) 50’

ORL- Darwin Ceren (Yellow Card) 52’

ORL- Brad Rusin (Yellow Card) 61’

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com


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