Team 1 2 Final
Orlando City 1 1 2
Charleston Battery 1 0 1
OC – Jean Alexandre (Jerome Mechack) 7
CHA - Nicki Paterson (unassisted) 38
OC - Jamie Watson (unassisted) 57
OC – Luke Boden (Caution; Unsporting behavior) 41
Orlando City – Miguel Gallardo, Jerome Mechack, Kieron Bernard, Kyle Davies, Luke Boden, Ian Fuller, James O’Connor, Kevin Molino (Charlie Campbell 73), Jean Alexandre, Jamie Watson, Dennis Chin (Erik Ustruck 74)
Substitutes not used: Sean Kelley, Justin Clark, Wes Allen, John Rooney
Charleston Battery – Andrew Dykstra, John Wilson, Kyle Hoffer, Colin Falvey, Taylor Mueller (Michael Azira 83), Amadou Sanyang, Tony Donatelli (Ryan Richter 69), Nicki Paterson, Navion Boyd (Zach Prince 74), Jose Cuevas, Sallieu Bundu (Dane Kelley 69)
Substitutes not used: Brock Duckworth, Sean Flatley, Charlie Romero
Referee – Cedric Adams
Referee’s Assistants – Kyle Longville, Jonathan Quinter
4th Official – Joshua Thompson
Time of Game – 7:30 p.m.
Weather – Clear, 76 degrees
Attendance - 5,602
Orlando, Fla. - Orlando City Soccer Club separated themselves from the rest of USL PRO with a 2-1 win over the Charleston Battery on Saturday at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Lion-on-loan Jean Alexandre scored his first goal for the club just seven minutes into the match, but it was fan-favorite Jamie Watson who scored the game-winner in the second half.
“I’m pleased for the players because they worked really hard this week,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “It’s the result they deserved after a hard week of practice.”
Orlando City (8-1-2) opened the first half strong, attacking the Battery’s back line for most of the opening 45 minutes. The opportunities came early, with their first attempt on goal resulting in a score for City. Defender Jerome Mechack served a cross from the right side to a streaking Jean Alexandre. The Haitian international, currently on a two-game loan from Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes, dove and headed it past a stunned Andrew Dykstra to give Orlando an early 1-0 lead.
Charleston (7-3-0) got back into the match before halftime with a strike from Midfielder Nicki Paterson. After a Battery corner, an Orlando City defender’s clearance fell short and found Paterson with a clear lane in front of him. The midfielder one-timed the deflection, blasting a volley in the upper 90 to equalize the match at 1-1.
The Lions took the lead for good with the goal coming from Jaime Watson. Jerome laid a cross into a group of players before bouncing around and finding the midfielder right inside the 18 yard box. The Dallas, Texas, native launched his shot into the upper left corner, giving Orlando the 2-1 lead heading to the sixty minute mark.
The match continued to be a back and forth affair, even until the last seconds of extra time. Charleston Forward Dane Kelly found himself one-on-one with Orlando Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo in the 90th minute only for his shot to go inches right of the goal. Alexandre nearly earned a brace late in the match, but saw his bending shot hit the crossbar.
The win puts the Lions four points clear of the rest of the USL PRO table. The win is also Orlando’s fourth consecutive over Charleston. City is 5-1 all-time against the rival Battery.
Next week, the Lions take on Antigua Barracuda FC on Sunday, June 17 at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Antigua has been on a month break due to World Cup qualifying, with a majority of the squad on the Antigua and Barbuda national team. Antigua fell to USA’s national team in a 3-1 World Cup qualifier in Tampa, Fla, last night. The match will be broadcast on Brighthouse Sports Network.
For information on the upcoming match against Antigua Barracuda and more, please visit www.Orlandocitysoccer.com. For tickets, starting at just $15, call 855-ORL-CITY.
Team 1 2 Final