Eagles Advance to Eastern Conference Championship
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Statesboro, GA – The Charlotte Eagles used four Joao Costa goals to defeat the Seacoast United Phantoms on Saturday night 4-1 to advance to the Eastern Conference Championship. Charlotte will now take on the Long Island Rough Riders at 8:00 pm at Erk Russell Park in Statesboro.
Charlotte had a number of chances in the first half against the Phantoms but couldn’t get their shots on the frame of the goal. Kelvin Omondi and Joao Costa linked well in the opening 20 minutes but neither could beat Phantoms goalkeeper Thor Arne Hoefs.
The match headed to the halftime break with the score knotted at 0-0.
The second half of the match saw the Phantoms break through first as Donnett Sackie headed home the opening goal in the 52nd minute of play. James Pyle made a wonderful reaction save on a deflected shot which led to the corner where Seacoast scored, Pyle ended the night with five saves.
Charlotte got on the board in the 75th minute as Omondi found Costa to tie the match at 1-1. Curren Page found himself with acres of space in the Eagles defensive third and picked out Omondi running down the left flank. Omondi took a touch behind the Phantoms defender and got to the end line before finding Costa, who had peeled off the back shoulder of the center back, took a touch and hammered home the equalizer.
The match headed for extra time as 90 minutes was not enough to find a winner. The Eagles took advantage of the extra session as Joao Costa added three goals in the thirty minutes to send Charlotte to their first Eastern Conference Championship in the PDL level. Costa found his second goal four minutes in to extra time as he took a pass from Jovan Petrovic and curled in a left-footed shot past Hoefs.
Second half sub Mutaya Mwape made an impact as he found Ryan Williams who headed a ball back to Costa in the box, Costa took a touch, flicked it over a defender, and sent the ball home to make it 3-1 Charlotte. Costa added his fourth eight minutes from the end of the game as Ryan Williams’ free kick hit the crossbar and Costa headed it home to make it 4-1.
Charlotte will now face the Long Island Rough Riders at 8:00 pm tonight at Erk Russell Park in Statesboro, Georgia. Long Island defeated Eagles’ South Atlantic Division foe Myrtle Beach Mutiny
From Charlotte to Statesboro we’ll keep the Orange Flag Flying High!