CHARLESTON, S.C. – Bruno Lapa scored the game-winning goal as Birmingham Legion FC picked up a second consecutive win to start the season in a 2-1 victory against the Charleston Battery in the first game at the Battery’s new home of the Patriot’s Point Soccer Complex.
Aiming to build off victory in its season opener, Legion FC got onto the front foot early in an up-tempo beginning and was rewarded in the 12th minute. A good run by Brian Wright into the right channel beat the Battery’s defensive line as he ran onto a pass by Jonathan Dean and shot into the far corner of the net.
Wright and Dean combined again two minutes later as Wright played Dean into the right side of the penalty area on a short overlap, but Dean’s finish was comfortably saved by Battery goalkeeper Phil Breno. The Battery produced their first good chance soon after, but Robbie Crawford’s shot from 20 yards slid wide of the left post.
The Battery leveled on the half-hour mark, however, as a great move down the left side between Crawford, Angelo Daley and Deshawon Nembhard created space for a cross, and the delivery to the top of the penalty area by Nembhard set up perfectly for Zeiko Lewis to fire home on the volley for his second goal of the season.
Lewis threatened again early in the second half from a free kick as his curling shot was palmed over the crossbar by Legion FC goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel. But Birmingham regained the lead in the xxth minute as a good buildup brought the ball to Bruno Lapa at the top of the penalty area, and his shot took a deflection to wrongfoot Breno and find the back of the net.
Charleston’s Romario Piggott twice went close to equalizing for the hosts but was denied each time by the crossbar. In the 62nd minute, the Panamanian got on the end of a cross by Logan Gdula from the left and saw his header come back off the top-right corner of the woodwork, while six minutes later another delivery by Lewis came to Piggott, whose header this time hit the crossbar and went behind for a goal kick.
The Battery’s pressure continued over the final 15 minutes, and Logan Gdula had a good chance carved out by Crawford blocked by Legion FC’s Mikey Lopez in the 89th minute. Birmingham’s defense held out to the final whistle, though, and secured a second consecutive win to start the season.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Jonathan Dean, Birmingham Legion FC – Dean provided the assist on both Legion FC goals, had four chances created overall to help the visitors earn victory