Eagles Top NCFC U23 4-1 to Advance to Playoffs
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Charlotte Clinches Playoff Spot with Win on Friday Night
Cary, NC – The Charlotte Eagles (9-3-2 29 pts) clinched the final South Atlantic Division playoff spot with a 4-1 win over North Carolina FC U23 (5-7-2, 17 pts) on Friday night. Charlotte got two goals from Joao Costa, along with goals from Ashley Sibisi and Mutaya Mwape and another stellar game in goal from James Pyle to finish ahead of Nashville SC U23 for 2nd place.
Charlotte came out of the blocks fast as Joao Costa opened the scoring in the 8th minute. The Brazilian took a lovely weighted pass from Kelvin Omondi and rounded the NCFC U23 keeper to put the visitors up 1-0 early.
The Eagles doubled their lead just five minutes later as Ashley Sibisi fired a shot into the upper left corner of the NCFC net after a long spell of Eagles possession. With a 2-0 lead just 13 minutes in the Eagles looked to ease off the gas pedal a touch as NCFC U23 came in to more possession following the second goal.
Following a water break the hosts took advantage of good buildup and cut the Eagles lead to 2-1 thanks to a Damien Thomas 26th minute goal. The Jamaican forward netted his third of the season after Jamil Garcia made his way down the right hand side before finding Thomas open in the box.
After the halftime break Charlotte looked set to defend their lead and pounce on the counter attack as they needed to see out the 2-1 lead to advance to the playoffs. James Pyle came up with a big double save in the 60th minute to keep the visitors in the lead 2-1. Pyle made the initial save and then was able to recover to tip the ball over the bar to send it out for a corner.
Following the defensive corner, Charlotte netted their third of the night as Joao Costa caught NCFC on the counter attack. Costa won a 50-50 battle at midfield and was able to outrace the defense before sending a shot just under the bar to make it 3-1 in the 62nd minute.
Mutaya Mwape, who came on in the 27th minute for Kelvin Omondi, added a late insurance goal to see the game out 4-1. Mwape took possession down the left flank and let a left footed rocket go to the far right post beating NCFC U23 keeper Bardia Asefnia in the 82nd minute.
Charlotte now travels to Statesboro, Ga next weekend to take part in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The Eagles will join the Myrtle Beach Mutiny and await the other two teams, the winners of play-in games between the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Division, in the four-team Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Be sure to keep up with Charlotte Eagles social media in the lead up to the playoffs!
From Charlotte to Statesboro we’ll keep the Orange Flag Flying High!