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Hammerheads advance in USL playoffs

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Check out highlights of Wilmington's playoff win on Sunday's sportscast on WWAY at 6pm and 11.

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TAMPA, FL (USL) -- The semifinals of the USL PRO Playoffs were set on Saturday night as the No.3-seed Charleston Battery took a 2-1 victory against the No.6-seed Harrisburg City Islanders and No.5-seed Wilmington Hammerheads took victory against the No.4-seed Richmond Kickers. The Battery will face the No.2-seed Rochester Rhinos and the Hammerheads the No.1-seed Orlando City in Friday night’s semifinals.

Wilmington took revenge for their defeat against Richmond in last season’s playoffs as Tom Parratt’s stoppage-time goal earned his side a dramatic late victory on the road at City Stadium. The Kickers took the lead in the 12th minute, Jason Yeisley opening the scoring, but the Hammerheads took the lead as they scored twice in four minutes midway through the second half, Troy Cole getting his side on level terms before Steven Perry headed home a corner in the 72nd minute.

The Kickers got back on level terms in the 79th minute as Edson Elcock headed home from a corner, but Parratt scored the game-winner in the third minute of stoppage time, sending his side into the semifinals. The Hammerheads had fallen in a penalty shootout to the Kickers a season ago, but will now face Orlando City on Friday night at the Florida Citrus Bowl at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Battery advanced to the semifinals as a late first-half rally earned a 2-1 victory against the City Islanders through goals by Nicki Paterson and Tony Donatelli. Harrisburg took the lead in the 15th minute as Brian Ombiji found the back of the net, but the Battery pressed late in the half, and earned a penalty kick in the 40th minute after a handball in the Harrisburg penalty area. Paterson converted from the spot to tie the game, and Charleston then took the lead in first-half stoppage time as Jose Cuevas played Donatelli in through the right channel for a fine finish.

The Battery pressed to add to their lead early in the second half, and Harrisburg’s Nick Noble did well to save from Ryan Richter 10 minutes into the second half, but while the City Islanders pressed late for an equalizer, the Battery were able to hold on to take victory. Charleston will now travel to face the Rhinos next Friday night at Sahlen’s Stadium at 7:35 p.m. ET.

Quarterfinals
Saturday, August 25
No.5 Wilmington Hammerhead 3, No.4 Richmond Kickers 2
No.3 Charleston Battery 2, No. 6 Harrisburg City Islanders 1

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Semifinals
Friday, August 31
No.5 Wilmington Hammerheads at No. 1 Orlando City, 7:30 p.m. ET
No.3 Charleston Battery at No. 2 Rochester Rhinos, 7:35 p.m. ET

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