The Charleston Battery missed out on a chance to move back into the playoff places on Sunday afternoon as the side suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Loudoun United FC, which came back from a goal down to earn its third straight win.
Later in the evening, Rio Grande Valley FC extended its unbeaten run to four games and climbed up to 14th place in the Western Conference with a 2-0 road victory over OKC Energy FC at Taft Stadium.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Rio Grande Valley leapfrogged Energy FC in the Western Conference standings with a road victory at Taft Stadium. The hosts nearly took the lead through a bit of luck in the 22nd minute as Omar Gordon’s off-target shot struck Christian Eissele and the OKC forward was able to get the ball out of his feet quickly for a second effort that just slid wide of the post. RGVFC goalkeeper Ben Willis was called into action moments later as OKC moved forward again with Cordell Cato sliding a through ball to Deshorn Brown, who tried to pick out the bottom-right corner with the outside of his right boot, but Willis extended well to make the stop. Eissele fired just over with dipping volley from the edge of the box on the half-hour mark and Callum Ross struck the left post with a powerful effort from 25 yards out on the stroke of halftime as Energy FC continued to press for an opener. The hosts looked like they were going to finally get that first goal in the 66th minute when Brown set up Cato in the center of the box, but Willis made himself big and kept the ball out of the net with an outstretched leg. OKC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi remained alert at the other end three minutes later when he made a diving stop at his near post to deny Deshane Beckford’s right-footed shot from the left side of the box, but RGVFC opened the scoring from the resulting corner kick as Connor Donovan headed Isidro Martinez’s delivery into the bottom-right corner. The visitors extended their lead from the penalty spot 78th minute as Carlos Small sent Laurendi the wrong way after Atiba Harris had fouled Juan Carlos Obregón Jr. in the box. Willis made one more save to deny Brown in stoppage time as the visitors held on for a clean sheet and all three points.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Carlos Small, Rio Grande Valley FC – Small converted from the penalty spot, recorded four shots in total, made four key passes and completed 77 percent of his passes overall to help RGVFC extend its unbeaten streak to four games.
CHARLESTON, S.C. – A pair of goals from Alioune Ndour led Loudoun to a comeback victory over the Battery at MUSC Health Stadium. The hosts got off to the perfect start six minutes into the contest when Arthur Bosua tucked a right-footed shot into the bottom-left corner from about 10 yards out after Nicque Daley had chested down a right-wing cross near the penalty spot. The lead would last just five minutes as Loudoun responded through Ndour, who raced onto Antonio Bustamante’s through ball and held off his defender before flashing a left-footed volley past Battery goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky for his third goal in as many games. Bosua was inches away from giving Charleston the lead again in the 21st minute as he fired just wide of the far post from the left side of the six-yard box after Daley had dribbled through a pair of defenders to set up the chance. Loudoun came even closer ten minutes later as Theodore Ku-Dipietro played Gordon Wild down the right wing and the forward created a yard of space to shoot but struck Kuzminsky’s near post with his tight-angle shot. The game remained tied until the 82nd minute when the visitors struck with a brilliant bit of build-up play as Kyle Murphy held the ball up on the right wing and left it for Hunter Gorskie, who played a lovely square pass across the face of goal for Ndour to tap home from four yards out. The Battery were on the attack for the majority of the final 10 minutes as they pushed for an equalizer but couldn’t carve out one last quality chance as United held on for all three points.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Alioune Ndour, Loudoun United FC – Ndour continued his prolific goalscoring form, netting a brace to help his side to a road victory over the Battery and collect his third and fourth goals over Loudoun’s three-game winning streak.