Saturday, June 16, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles rallied from a first-half deficit, beating the Richmond Kickers 4-1 on Saturday night at Charlotte Christian Stadium for the side's first home win in USL PRO this season. Second-half goals from Joseph Kabwe, Miguel Ferrer and Christian Meza gave the Eagles victory, reversing the result from their visit to Richmond last weekend.
Richmond got off to a good start, and came close to opening the scoring in the 12th minute when Luke Vercollone got a good shot off, only for Charlotte goalkeeper Eric Reed to deny him with a beautiful diving save. But the Kickers did get on the board first in the 19th minute when Christopher Agorsor slipped one past Reed.
Richmond pushed for more after they took the lead, but the Eagles were able to tie the game when Nate Thornton caught them off guard in the 24th minute. The Eagles went close to taking the lead 12 minutes later when Jorge Herrera took a free kick and missed connecting with Kabwe by inches, but the teams went to the halftime break even.
Charlotte came close to taking the lead just two minutes into the second half when a great run of play ended when Darryl Roberts was stopped by a diving effort by Richmond goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale. Richmond had the next real opportunity in the 56th minute when they were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area, but Charlotte's defense headed the ball away to safety to end the threat.
Charlotte took the lead for good in the 65th minute when Kabwe scored to put the Eagles ahead 2-1, and while the Kickers had a great opportunity to equalize in the 77th minute when a long pass found Edson Elcock, he was unable to control and the ball ended up going out for a goal kick. The Kickers again went close six minutes later when William Yomby connected with a cross, heading the ball goalwards, but Reed stretched out and parried the ball to safety.
Four minutes later, the Eagles added a third goal when Ferrer dribbled through the defense and curled his shot just inside the post, past a diving Pascale. Ferrer then added an assist to his goal in stoppage time as he played in Meza for his second goal of the season to cap the Eagles' victory.
The Eagles next travel west for the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup, as they face CD Chivas USA on Tuesday, June 26 at the Home Depot Center. The Kickers return home to host the Rochester Rhinos next Saturday at City Stadium at 7 p.m.