Eagles Drop Open Cup Match to Independence
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Eagles Drop Open Cup Match Against Independence
Charlotte, NC – The Charlotte Eagles couldn’t make a second half lead hold up as the USL’s Charlotte Independence advanced to the 3rd round by a 3-2 score. Goals by Ryan Williams and Kelvin Omondi gave the Eagles a lead in the 2nd half but two Enzo Martinez goals saw the visitors on to the next round.
The Independence started the match in dominant fashion, keeping possession and putting the Eagles defense under pressure from the very beginning. In the 9th minute the pressure and possession paid off for the Independence as Yann Ekra sent in a left footed cross that was initially dealt with by an Eagles defender. Casey Townsend cleaned up the rebound to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The hosts settled down and found some possession after the first goal of the match and would see the game stay 1-0 until the halftime break.
Shortly after halftime Eagles captain, Ryan Williams scored his second long range goal in as many games. The play was started by Mutaya Mwape’s backtracking run on former Eagles forward Jaime Siaj. Mwape’s hard work allowed Dani Siaj to cut off his brother and James Pyle a chance to clear it out of danger. Williams played Pyle’s clearance Costa whose back heel touch put Williams in acres of space. Williams then ran 35 yards uncontested before ripping a right-footed shot past Mizell to tie the game at 1-1.
Williams’ JBU teammate Kelvin Omondi doubled the hosts advantage two minutes later. After some good combination play found the ball out wide on the left, Hazeley Pyle’s pass found its way to Omondi. The Kenyan picked the ball up 30 yards from goal, took two touches and curled in a 23-yard beauty past Mizell to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead in the 63rd minute.
The hosts advantage only lasted 13 minutes as Enzo Martinez was taken down in the Eagles penalty area and converted the ensuing penalty kick to tie the score at 2-2. Enzo, a finalist for USL Player of the Year in 2016, showed his quality again in the 88th minute as he latched on to a pass from his brother Alex and sent a shot across James Pyle into the far-left corner to give the Independence the lead for good, 3-2.
The Independence will now travel to Cary, NC to take on North Carolina FC in the 3rd round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
The Eagles will be back home at Charlotte Christian on Saturday, May 20th as long-time rivals, the Carolina Dynamo come to town. Kickoff is set for 7 pm.
Keep the Orange Flag Flying High and we’ll see you on Saturday!