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Gameday Report: October 13, Week 31

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 10/13/18, 4:00PM EDT

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Saint Louis clinches first playoff trip, San Antonio left to wait; North Carolina stays alive with late victory


Photo courtesy Mark Guthrel / Saint Louis FC

THREE THINGS THAT MATTERED

1. Saint Louis FC got the point it needed to ensure the club’s first trip to the USL Cup Playoffs, while San Antonio FC’s fate was left in the hands of the LA Galaxy II as both sides were held to draws by their visiting opponents on Saturday night. Saint Louis knew that a point would be enough going in, and while it didn’t find the net a suffocating defensive effort that held OKC Energy FC to only two official shots in a 0-0 draw at Toyota Stadium – Saint Louis was key to ensuring the club’s first postseason trip in its fourth season. Things were looking positive for San Antonio, too, when it took a first-half lead against Rio Grande Valley FC, but the Toros wouldn’t go quietly and almost rallied for victory at Toyota Field, but Carlos Small’s goal for RGVFC left the sides even in a 1-1 draw that means SAFC needs Los Dos to take victory against the Swope Park Rangers on Sunday afternoon to claim a return trip to the postseason.

2. North Carolina FC’s slim hopes of reaching the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs were kept alive on Saturday night as it scored a pair of late goals to take a 3-1 victory against the Charlotte Independence at the Sportsplex at Matthews, a result that moved NCFC level on points with Bethlehem Steel FC but trailing on goal differential ahead of Bethlehem’s game against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Sunday afternoon. Daniel Rios scored twice to finish the regular season with 20 goals, including a late finish that proved the game-winner before Steven Miller added a third in stoppage time. North Carolina will now need a four-goal victory by the Tampa Bay Rowdies against Bethlehem on Sunday to claim a miraculous place in the postseason, but while there is life, there is hope for Head Coach Colin Clarke's side.

3. Sacramento Republic FC claimed the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference as Phoenix Rising FC slipped to third after having had the chance to move into first following Reno 1868 FC’s victory against Orange County SC earlier in the night as a decisive finish simply wouldn’t arrive for Phoenix as it fell 1-0 to the Portland Timbers 2. Phoenix had numerous chances to break the deadlock but finished with only two official shots on goal on 21 shots overall, and with five minutes to go Portland’s Augustine Williams produced a late winner for the visitors. That opened the door for Sacramento, which thanks to Cameron Iwasa’s 17th goal of the season took a 1-0 win against Las Vegas Lights FC to shift into second behind Orange County as Republic FC rounded out its regular season with a fourth consecutive win.

GAME REPORTS

SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC FC (1), LAS VEGAS LIGHTS FC (0)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC took a 1-0 victory against Las Vegas Lights FC at Papa Murphy’s Park and jumped into the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference after Phoenix Rising FC’s loss to the Portland Timbers 2 on Saturday night. Sacramento almost took the lead in the fifth minute when Elliott Hord’s low cross from the right found Jure Matjasic at the top of the six-yard area, but Las Vegas goalkeeper Thomas Olsen made a good point-blank save. Freddy Adu had the first look for Lights FC but shot wide of the near post from the left side of the penalty area, but it was Republic FC that produced the better chances as Olsen was again called on to make a big save to keep out Christian Eissele’s close-range finish in the 27th minute. Matjasic again went close eight minutes into the second half as his shot came off the left post and Olsen scrambled to deny Villyan Bijev on the rebound, but in the 55th minute the hosts took the lead as Eissele knocked down a cross by Hord to set up Cameron Iwasa for a first-time finish into the top-right corner of the net. Bijev almost added a second just past the hour-mark as his low, near-post finish from the left side of the penalty area was denied by Olsen, while Las Vegas had a chance to level with 19 minutes to go only for Sammy Ochoa’s header to go high of the net from a corner kick by Omar Salgado. Las Vegas almost equalized in the final minute as Salgado’s shot flashed wide of the right post, but the hosts held on for all three points to close the regular season with a fourth consecutive victory.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Cameron Iwasa, Sacramento Republic FC
– Iwasa scored his 17th goal of the regular season with aplomb and put together a strong all-around display to lead his side to victory and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

PHOENIX RISING FC (0), PORTLAND TIMBERS 2 (1)

PHOENIX – A late goal by Augustine Williams sent the Portland Timbers 2 into the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference for the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs with a 1-0 victory against Phoenix Rising FC at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex that saw the hosts slide to the No. 3 seed and set up a rematch between the two sides in the Western Conference Quarterfinals next weekend. Didier Drogba threatened in just the third minute with a low, driven shot to the right corner that T2 goalkeeper Alex Mangels parried to safety, and the hosts hit the woodwork twice in a matter of seconds shortly after as Kevaughn Frater saw a header come off the right post before Solomon Asante struck the rebound off the crossbar. Phoenix again went close through Jason Johnson eight minutes before halftime as his close-range finish was blocked and smuggled away to safety by the Portland defense, while Frater was denied by the offside flag in the 56th minute when he was just behind the backline as he anticipated in a low cross by Johnson from the left to the top of the six-yard area. Portland defender Marco Farfan produced a crucial block on the hour-mark to keep out a chance for Asante from 10 yards, while three minutes later Frater shot over the crossbar after getting in behind the T2 defense. Phoenix’s pressure continued as Frater again just missed the target on a close-range finish from Devin Vega’s cross from the right with 20 minutes to go. But after absorbing pressure for much of the contest, T2 found the breakthrough with five minutes to go as Augustine Williams produced a headed finish off a flighted cross from the left by Jack Barmby that found the right corner of the net. T2 had a chance in stoppage time to add an insurance goal only for Marvin Loria’s tight-angle chance to be saved by Rising FC goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski, but it proved academic as Phoenix’s late pressure didn’t produce an equalizer to allow the visitors to claim the victory.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Augustine Williams, Portland Timbers 2
– Williams produced the winner six minutes after coming on as a substitute to lift T2 to a big road victory and a rematch with Phoenix to open its first trip to the postseason.

FRESNO FC (0), REAL MONARCHS SLC (1)

FRESNO, Calif. – Real Monarchs SLC took its first road win since June 16 as Charlie Adams scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory against Fresno FC at Chukchansi Park to give Real the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference as it returns to the USL Cup Playoffs. The Foxes had a big chance in the opening minute as Myer Bevan got a clear look from 16 yards but put his finish too close to Monarchs goalkeeper Andrew Putna who was able to save. The young New Zealand international threatened again just past the half-hour mark as he tight-roped down the right goal line into the penalty area and fired a low shot that Putna got down to parry, but in the 37th minute the Monarchs took the lead on a blistering first-time shot by Adams from 30 yards after a free kick had been headed out of the penalty area that set up perfectly for the midfielder to strike. Fresno almost leveled just before halftime on a free kick by Juan Pablo Caffa that Putna held as it headed toward the bottom-right corner, while Bevan curled a shot just high and wide of the right post from 25 yards just past the hour-mark for the Foxes. Putna was called on again with 20 minutes to go as he saved a low shot by Christian Chaney after the Fresno forward had created space at the top of the penalty area, but the Monarchs almost doubled their lead with 11 minutes to go as a dipping shot by Justin Portillo from 25 yards rang off the crossbar after a driving run from midfield. Fresno threatened once more with four minutes to go as Mickey Daly’s header was kept out by Putna, but the Monarchs held firm to clinch the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Andrew Putna, Real Monarchs SLC
– Putna put together a six-save shutout to preserve the Monarchs’ first victory on the road in four months and book a home game to kick off the postseason next weekend.

RENO 1868 FC (3), ORANGE COUNTY SC (1)

RENO, Nev. – Reno 1868 FC claimed all three points to give itself hope, and left the door open for Phoenix Rising FC to finish top of the Western Conference, but despite a 3-1 victory against Orange County SC at Greater Nevada Field was left with the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference for the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs following Real Monarchs SLC’s victory later in the evening. The hosts took the lead in the 15th minute when Brenton Griffiths soared to head home a back-post corner kick from the left by Jerry van Ewijk. Orange County almost hit back 11 minutes later as Michael Seaton got a clear look on goal but was denied by a low save by Reno goalkeeper Matt Bersano as his shot headed toward the right corner, but 1868 FC doubled its lead a minute before halftime as a low shot by Van Ewijk came back off the right post to Antoine Hoppenot, who finished from close range. Brian Brown almost added a third for the hosts inside the opening minute of the second half only to send his shot wide of the left post, while Orange County almost found an answer when Alex Crognale’s header from a corner kick was blocked on the line but in the 57th minute Aodhan Quinn linked up with Thomas Enevoldsen to allow the Dane to score his 20th goal of the season with a low finish from 20 yards to the right corner of the net. Crognale almost leveled three minutes later with a header from Quinn’s corner from the right that went just over, but Reno restored its two-goal advantage in the 62nd minute on Hoppenot’s second goal of the night as the attacking midfielder lifted his finish home off a cross from the right by Brent Richards. Orange County’s Andrew Rawls came up with back-to-back saves to keep out Seth Casiple and Richards with 11 minutes to go, while Bersano again came up big to deny a header by Seaton in the 83rd minute, but Reno saw out its victory to end the regular season on a seven-game undefeated streak.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Antoine Hoppenot, Reno 1868 FC
– Hoppenot scored a pair of goals and provided three key passes to lead Reno to victory against the Western Conference-leaders to round out the regular season.

SAINT LOUIS FC (0), OKC ENERGY FC (0)

FENTON, Mo. – Saint Louis FC booked its first trip to the USL Cup Playoffs as it played to a 0-0 draw with OKC Energy FC at Toyota Stadium – Saint Louis to secure the point it needed for the postseason. Saint Louis almost took the lead in the ninth minute when a cutback from the right by Michael Cox found a late-arriving Kadeem Dacres for a first-time effort that OKC goalkeeper Bryan Byars recovered in time to tip over the crossbar. That proved the only big chance of the first half, but Saint Louis again threatened early in the second half as Cox’s shot from the right side of the penalty was turned wide by Byars at the near post, while Energy FC’s Deshorn Brown hit the crossbar in the 57th minute with a dipping cross-shot from the right side that just missed out on putting the visitors ahead. Saint Louis had to survive one final chance for the visitors in stoppage time that goalkeeper Tomas Gomez claimed off a header by Jaime Siaj, but the scoreless draw was enough to send all the home fans into celebration as they clinched a postseason berth.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Tony Walls, Saint Louis FC
– Walls won all 10 of his duels, completed 37 of 43 passes and recorded three interceptions and two clearances as STLFC’s defense held OKC’s attack to only two official shots on the night.

SAN ANTONIO FC (1), RIO GRANDE VALLEY FC (1)

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC took a first-half lead but was held to a 1-1 draw by Rio Grande Valley FC at Toyota Field in the final South Texas Derby of the season and will now wait for the outcome of Sunday’s game between the Swope Park Rangers and LA Galaxy II to find out its playoff fate. San Antonio threatened in the fifth minute as a good through-ball found Jose Escalante in the right side of the penalty area, but his shot was smothered by RGVFC goalkeeper Michael Nelson. San Antonio took the lead in the 23rd minute, however, as a half-cleared corner kick was recycled to Lance Laing on the right side and the Jamaican’s cross to the back post was headed home by Ever Guzman into the left side of the net. San Antonio took its lead to the break, but the Toros hit back six minutes into the second half when a low cross by Jesus Enriquez from the left was put home on a first-time finish by Carlos Small that got through SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone at the near post. Enriquez almost gave the visitors the lead with 20 minutes to go with a shot that curled just wide of the right post, and the sides exchanged chances with 15 minutes to go as first Nelson kept out a shot to the left corner by SAFC’s Rafael Castillo before Pablo Aguilar also threatened for the Toros on a low shot from 25 yards that Cardone got down to save before Small’s rebound chance bounced harmlessly into the goalkeeper’s hands. Cardone made another save with four minutes to go as he got his fingertips to a shot by Enriquez that was bound for the right corner, while Jordan Jones almost struck on the counterattack for the visitors as Cardone came up big again with a minute to go, but as hard as San Antonio pushed in stoppage time to find a winner it was unable to find a decisive finish to leave it to sit and wait until tomorrow.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Carlos Small, Rio Grande Valley FC
– Small found a second-half equalizer for the visitors and produced five shots overall and one key pass as the Toros almost snatched victory away from home against their rivals.

NASHVILLE SC (3), FC CINCINNATI (3)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bolu Akinyode scored a 90th-minute equalizer to earn Nashville SC a point in a 3-3 draw with FC Cincinnati at First Tennessee Park as FCC set a USL modern-era record by going 23 games undefeated in a thrilling back-and-forth contest. Nashville took the lead in just the fifth minute as a deft cross by Taylor Washington from the left was nodded home by Tucker Hume into the left corner. Cincinnati almost hit back 10 minutes before halftime as a dipping shot to the left corner by Emmanuel Ledesma from 25 yards was palmed wide by NSC goalkeeper Matt Pickens, and the veteran shot-stopper came up big again to deny Corben Bone early in the second half. Bone notched his 10th goal of the season in the 52nd minute, however, as he was slipped through by Ledesma and sent a low finish to level the score. Nashville almost regained the lead in the 55th minute on a first-time finish by Kris Tyrpak on a low cross from the left that was met by a standout save by FCC goalkeeper Spencer Richey, while two minutes later FCC defender Forrest Lasso’s volleyed finish was kept out by Pickens following a corner kick. The visitors took the lead in the 63rd minute, though, as a corner kick from the right by Ledesma rebounded off the crossbar and set perfectly for Nazmi Albadawi to head home. Tyrpak had another chance for the hosts five minutes later with a low shot to the left corner that was turned just wide by Richey, but Nashville got back on level terms with 10 minutes to go when Brandon Allen volleyed home a cross by Ropapa Mensah from the right at the near post. The euphoria of NSC’s goal was short-lived, however, as Cincinnati regained the lead a minute later as Bone notched his second of the night with a low finish to the right corner from the left side of the penalty area, but Nashville leveled again in the 90th minute when Akinyode sent home a first-time finish from the top of the penalty area that curled into the top-right corner to leave the game all square.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Corben Bone, FC Cincinnati
– Bone scored twice for the visitors in a compelling contest between the two regional rivals that had its fair share of drama at both ends of the field.

TULSA ROUGHNECKS FC (1), SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 2 (4)

TULSA, Okla. – Seattle Sounders FC 2 claimed its first road win of the season as David Estrada and Alec Diaz each had a goal and assist in a 4-1 victory against Tulsa Roughnecks FC at ONEOK Field. The Roughnecks had the first good chance in the seventh minute when Paris Gee’s low shot to the right corner was turned wide by S2 goalkeeper Calle Brown, and Seattle’s Jalen Markey had to make a decisive intervention in his own six-yard area to clear a low cross by Tulsa’s Michael Gamble a minute later. S2 took the lead on its first good chance, however, when Diaz scored his second goal in as many games with a low finish of a clever lifted feed by Estrada in the 21st minute. The Roughnecks leveled just before halftime as a long clearance by goalkeeper Josh Morton sent Eti Tavares in for a low finish from the left side of the penalty area, but S2 regained the lead inside the opening minute of the second half as Estrada curled home a finish to the right corner just past the outstretched hand of Roughnecks goalkeeper Fabian Cerda. Seattle added a third just past the hour-mark when Antonee Burke-Gilroy sent home a first-time finish into the right corner from a deflected cross. The Roughnecks almost pulled a goal back in the 67th minute when Isaac Diaz’s low shot was parried away by Brown, and the S2 shot-stopper got down to keep out a low shot by Nemanja Vukovic with six minutes to go, but S2 notched a fourth in the 87th minute when David Olsen’s chipped finish found the net off a low cross by Diaz to wrap up all three points

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
David Estrada, Seattle Sounders FC 2
– Estrada provided an inventive pass to set up S2’s opening goal and then put the visitors back on top less than a minute into the second half with a fine finish as Seattle ended its season on a high note.

LOUISVILLE CITY FC (1), INDY ELEVEN (0)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Cameron Lancaster’s 25th goal of the season gave Louisville City FC a 1-0 victory against Indy Eleven at Slugger Field in a frenetic clash between the two regional rivals. Louisville’s Brian Ownby was twice denied by Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams inside the opening 15 minutes, first on a first-time drive from the top of the penalty area and then on a header to the bottom-left corner after a good cross by Kyle Smith from the right. Indy then almost took the lead off a fine header by Karl Ouimette off a corner kick that was cleared off the line by Louisville’s Niall McCabe before Nico Matern volleyed the second chance from the top of the penalty area wide of the right post. Ownby had another chance kept out by Fon Williams in the 17th minute from the left side of the penalty area, and the Welsh goalkeeper made another big save to turn a chance for George Davis IV onto the right post 10 minutes later. Indy’s Jack McInerney had a big chance less than a minute after Davis’ effort only to send his chipped finish wide of the right post after seizing on a loose defensive pass, but Louisville took the lead 10 minutes before halftime when Ilija Ilic was brought down in the penalty area allowing Lancaster to finish from the spot with a low shot to the left corner. Justin Braun almost brought Indy level in the 43rd minute with a low finish that Louisville goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh turned wide of the left post before Louisville nearly added to its lead in first-half stoppage time as Oscar Jimenez had a long-range strike parried by Fon Williams before Davis shot the rebound into the left side-netting. The hosts again went close when Alex Souahy hit the post eight minutes into the second half following a free kick effort by Lancaster that was turned away. The chances kept coming for both sides as Ilic slid a shot just wide of the left post for the hosts and Ouimette put a header just off the top of the crossbar from a corner kick for the visitors, while Louisville’s Magnus Rasmussen tested Fon Williams with a low shot to the left corner that was saved, but despite both sides having chances to find the net late Louisville held on and left Nashville to wait and find out where it would land in the standings ahead of next week’s playoffs.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Niall McCabe, Louisville City FC
– McCabe produced a crucial early clearance off the goal line to deny Indy the opening goal and was strong in midfield, recording three key passes while linking play well for the hosts.

CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE (1), NORTH CAROLINA FC (3)

MATTHEWS, N.C. – Daniel Rios scored twice including a late game-winner to keep North Carolina alive in the race for the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs with a 3-1 victory against the Charlotte Independence at the Sportsplex at Matthews. North Carolina got out to a quick lead in the fifth minute when Daniel Rios took a pass and cut past his marker before finishing low into the left corner for his 19th goal of the season, but the Independence answered almost immediately as Jorge Herrera produced a spectacular bicycle kick after a defensive header had gone straight up in the penalty area allowing the Colombian to pull off a remarkable equalizer. Charlotte almost took the lead in the 17th minute when a ball over the top found Eamon Zayed, whose lifted finish toward the right corner was turned away by NCFC goalkeeper Austin Guerrero, but soon after North Carolina thought it had regained its advantage only for Independence goalkeeper Brandon Miller to claw away a header by Steven Miller in the bottom-right corner of the net. NCFC’s Zach Steinberger also sent a header just wide of the left post in the 38th minute, while Miller fired wide of the right post just past the hour-mark as the visitors looked to regain the lead. Zayed almost bagged his second goal of the night in the 64th minute as he beat Guerrero to a cross from the right but couldn’t direct his finish on target, while NCFC’s Kyle Bekker fired a chance high and wide from the top of the penalty area with 19 minutes to go. Miller again went close for the visitors as he headed just over in the 77th minute, but with three minutes to go Rios scored his second of the night with a clever chipped finish over Miller to put the visitors back ahead. The Independence almost found a second equalizer in the final minute when Guerrero denied a chance for Cordell Cato, but North Carolina added a third through Miller in stoppage time with a low shot from the right side of the penalty area to keep its slim hopes of a place in the playoffs alive.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Daniel Rios, North Carolina FC
– Rios scored a pair of goals including the late game-winner as North Carolina claimed the Southern Derby with victory and kept its slim playoff chances alive.

PENN FC (0), TORONTO FC II (0)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Penn FC and Toronto FC II played to a 0-0 draw to wrap up the regular season for both clubs at FNB Field. Penn almost took the lead inside the opening minute when Prince Baffoe had a shot tipped wide of the left post by Toronto goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell, while Aaron Dennis also shot just over the crossbar from a tight angle on the right for the hosts. Toronto’s first good chance came in the 16th minute as Jordan Perruzza had a shot from a tight angle on the left cleared off the line by Penn’s Salvatore Barrone. The teams went to the break scoreless, but Penn’s Lucky Mkosana had a shot toward the right corner turned away by Patterson-Sewell six minutes into the second half as the hosts looked for the breakthrough. Dennis also went close for the hosts with a shot that flashed just wide of the left post, while Toronto’s Ayo Akinola forced a save from Penn goalkeeper Romuald Peiser with 12 minutes to go with a volleyed finish from Tim Kubel’s cross from the right. Dennis had another chance to put Penn ahead as the hosts swept forward moments later only to fire just over the crossbar, and with four minutes to go he shot just wide of the left post from the top of the penalty area. Neither side could find a decisive finish, however, as Toronto FC II's Matthew Srbely was denied by Peiser in stoppage time in the final chance of the game to see honors end even.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Robert Boskovic, Toronto FC II
– Boskovic won 11 of 17 duels and recorded seven clearances as Toronto wrapped up its season with a clean sheet on the road.

ATL UTD 2 (3), RICHMOND KICKERS (2)

GWINNETT, Ga. – ATL UTD 2 withstood a strong late comeback by the Richmond Kickers to end the season with a 3-2 victory at Coolray Field. Both teams had chances early as the Kickers’ Heviel Cordoves fired just high and wide of the left post in the third minute and Atlanta’s Devon Sandoval headed just over from a corner kick three minutes later. Sandoval again went close for the hosts as he was denied on the rebound after Kickers goalkeeper Brandon Barnes had saved an initial shot by Jon Gallagher. Atlanta goalkeeper Nicolas Caraux kept the game scoreless six minutes before halftime as he denied a snap-shot by Chris Osei-Wusu from just inside the penalty area, and the hosts had two good chances early in the second half as first Lagos Kunga hit the crossbar with a shot from a tight angle on the left and Gallagher had a shot saved by Barnes on a low shot to the left corner a minute later, but Kunga found the opening goal for the hosts just after the hour-mark as he wove past defenders before finishing low into the right corner. The U.S. U20 international then doubled Atlanta’s lead eight minutes later after the hosts turned the ball over in Richmond’s end to allow Kunga to lift his finish past Barnes and into the net, and Atlanta added a third with 14 minutes to go when Sandoval put home a finish after a second defensive turnover. Richmond produced a late comeback as it pulled a goal back in the 80th minute when Giuseppe Gentile found space for a low finish to the right corner, and Gentile struck again in the first minute of stoppage time with a glancing header that found the right corner of the net, but the rally came up short as Atlanta held on for victory.  

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Lagos Kunga, ATL UTD 2
– Kunga broke the game open with two goals in eight minutes that included an excellent individual effort to open the scoring just past the hour mark as Atlanta ended its season on a high note.

OTTAWA FURY FC (0), CHARLESTON BATTERY (2)

OTTAWA – The Charleston Battery scored in either half in a 2-0 victory against Ottawa Fury FC at TD Place that brought Fury FC’s hopes of a place in the USL Cup Playoffs to an end. Ottawa opened brightly and almost took the lead when a low cross by Carl Haworth was turned just wide of his right post by Battery defender Neveal Hackshaw to deny a close-range chance for Steevan Dos Santos. The Battery took the lead in the 14th minute, however, when Gordon Wild controlled 30 yards from goal and ripped a looping finish into the top-left corner off the half-volley. Fury FC’s Cristian Portilla hit the crossbar off an in-swinging corner kick from the right in the 24th minute as the Battery cleared the rebound to safety, and Charleston goalkeeper Robert Beebe made a good low save on a shot by Portilla toward the right corner of the net soon after. Dos Santos went for the spectacular with a bicycle kick from 16 yards that Beebe also punched to safety, while Haworth volleyed just wide of the right post from the top of the penalty area in the 38th minute. Fury FC threatened again after the halftime break when Adonijah Reid fired just wide of the right post from 14 yards before the Battery almost doubled as a cross by Wild from the left was just steered off target by Ian Svantesson, but Charleston added its second on the hour-mark when a powerful shot by Victor Mansaray was parried by Fury FC goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, only for Svantesson to tuck home the rebound. Ottawa almost pulled a goal back immediately as Haworth’s free kick was pegged for the top-left corner before Beebe made a diving save to deny the Fury FC captain, and Beebe made another good save with 14 minutes to keep out Reid’s snap shot following a long throw-in from the left, but Charleston’s defense held firm down the stretch to see out the victory.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Robert Beebe, Charleston Battery
– Beebe recorded a five-save shutout in his USL debut to help the Battery to victory in its season finale and leave Fury FC frustrated as its season came to an end.

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