CHARLOTTE,NC (news release courtesy USL) — With just five points separating the sides in the USL PRO American Division, the Charlotte Eagles were able to close the gap on rival the Wilmington Hammerheads with a 1-0 at Charlotte Christian Stadium on Friday night. The only goal of the night was by Walter Moore in the 10th minute off a great assist by Alan Sanchez.
The Charlotte Eagles came out strong, applying pressure early. That paid off in the 10th minute when Moore was able to sneak the ball past Wilmington’s goalkeeper Brock Duckworth after receiving a beautiful cross from Sanchez.
Wilmington, in the 15th minute, was able to get numbers into the box and take their first shot of the night, just going wide, but after the first 20 minutes of play the Eagles had good control of the midfield, and the defense was not giving Wilmington much room to work.
The Eagles had a chance to double their lead in the 24th minute as Duckworth came up with a good save for Wilmington off a header from Darren Toby. Wilmington then began to apply pressure late in the first half, creating good runs off the ball, but they had trouble getting past the Eagles defense and into the penalty area to apply any real pressure.
The Eagles had the first scoring opportunity after the break when Diego Martins found himself with an open net in the 51st minute and a great chance to increase his side’s lead. He got his shot off just before a challenge came in but could only sail the ball over the net.
Wilmington had their turn in the 57th minute with three consecutive corner kicks, each one nervously cleared by the Eagles. After absorbing the pressure, though, the Eagles found themselves with another open net in the 73rd minute, but Toby could not capitalize on the situation. The Eagles had their chances to put Wilmington away, but chose to do it the hard way.
Another Wilmington opportunity from a corner kick just missed the net in the 81st minute. With 10 minutes left in the game Wilmington turned on the pressure, but ultimately could not overcome the Eagles’ back four, the Hammerheads’ final chance ringing off the post in the 89th minute.
Both the Charlotte Eagles and Wilmington Hammerheads travel to Wilmington to play the second installment of their back-to-back games on Saturday night at 7:30 in the Port City at Legion Stadium.