LEESBURG, Va. – The Charleston Battery shook off letting a two-goal lead slip in the first half to come away with a 5-3 victory against Loudoun United FC on Wednesday night at Segra Field as Claudio Repetto scored twice and DZ Harmon recorded a goal and assist to lead the visitors to a third consecutive victory.
Having taken victory in the prior two meetings between the teams this season, the Battery jumped out to an ideal start as Repetto opened the scoring in just the fourth minute. An angled pass from Stavros Zarokostas on the left found Harmon, who controlled with his chest near the top-right edge of the penalty area, and while the ball was poked away by a defender as he cut to shoot the ball rolled to Repetto to tuck home a close-range finish.
The Battery doubled their lead five minutes later as Nicque Daley led a transition upfield in the right channel before passing to his left to find Zarokostas for a lifted finish into the net, and Repetto almost made it three in the 12th minute with a low shot that slid just wide of the right post off Harmon’s feed.
Moments later Loudoun missed out on a big chance as Kairou Amoustapha shot wide of the near post from the right side of the penalty area after a good through-ball by Kimarni Smith, but in the 22nd minute the hosts found the net as Ted Ku-DiPietro powered home a finish after Amoustapha’s pass inside the right side of the penalty area deflected into the middle of the box for the midfielder to finish.
Amoustapha almost leveled for United with a long-range shot from 25 yards toward the bottom-right corner that Battery goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky did well to turn wide. Charleston restored its two-goal advantage in the 32nd minute, however, as Repetto scored his second of the game after former Coastal Carolina teammate Harmon drove down the right side and delivered a low cross that the Italian forward sent home with a beautiful heel-flick finish to the left corner of the net.
Loudoun wouldn’t go away, though, and nine minutes before halftime Smith was kept out by another outstanding save by Kuzminsky, who stayed up long enough in a one-on-one in the left side of the penalty area to get a hand to Smith’s lifted finish and turn the ball wide for a corner. But Amoustapha made it a one-goal game again four minutes before the break as Nicky Downs played him into the right side of the penalty area for a low finish at the near post.
United then leveled in the final minute of the first half as Darluis Paz fired a low cross from the left that deflected off Battery defender Patrick Hogan and into the net, tying a Championship record for combined goals in a first half. The hosts then almost took the lead for the first time on the night two minutes into the second half as Paz got in behind the Battery defense on the left but sent a chipped finish over Kuzminsky just wide of the right post.
Charleston regained the lead in the 56th minute, however, as a free kick from the left by Burke Fahling found the run of Harmon in the center of the penalty area for a diving header into the left corner of the net for his first goal in the professional ranks. The Battery then tried to lock down their lead more securely than in the first half, but with 16 minutes to go Paz almost struck again for Loudoun with a shot from close to the top-left edge of the penalty area that flashed just over top-right corner of the net. Samson Sergi then forced a low save by Kuzminsky in the 81st minute with a shot from the right side of the penalty area, but in the closing minutes the Battery were awarded a penalty kick as Harmon was brought down in the box, allowing Zeiko Lewis to secure all three points with a low shot to the left corner of the net.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
DZ Harmon, Charleston Battery – Harmon recorded one goal and one assist, had three shots and three key passes and drew the penalty that allowed the Battery to seal victory late on in a thrilling contest.
CHS – Claudio Repetto 4’
CHS – Stavros Zarokostas (Nicque Daley) 9’
LDN – Ted KuDiPietro 22’
CHS – Claudio Repetto (DZ Harmon) 32’
LDN – Kairou Amoustapha (Nicky Downs) 41’
LDN – Patrick Hogan (Own Goal) 45’
CHS – DZ Harmon (Burke Fahling) 56’
CHS – Zeiko Lewis (Penalty Kick) 90’