Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Oh What a Night: Charleston 2-1 TFC

Earlier tonight, the Charleston Battery defeated Toronto FC 2-1 in the 2011 Carolina Challenge Cup. The Battery gained a victory in the Challenge Cup for the first time since 2006. The Battery came back from an early 1-0 deficit for a comeback victory.

The first goal of the game came in the14th minute, after the Battery's Nigel Marples got a hand ball in the box giving TFC a penalty. Toronto's Nathan Sturgis calmly stepped up and converted the penalty to give Toronto a 1-0 lead.

Charleston's Dane Kelly was arguably the man of the match. He caused consistent problems for TFC's back line, and in the 43rd minute, Kelly scored a cracker of a goal from the edge of the penalty area. As Kelly continued to cause problems, Toronto couldn't really find an answer at all. Mikael Yourassowsky was moved from left back to centre back for the second half, and fouled Kelly in the box giving Charleston a PK. Mike Zaher stepped up to take the penalty, and missed on his first attempt, but calmly put in the rebound over Toronto's Stefan Frei. Though they pushed forward for the remainder of the game, Toronto couldn't find an equalizer, and the Battery would go on to win by a final of 2-1.

This was a great game for the Battery. Obviously getting any points against an MLS team is a big accomplishment, but winning a match against one is just a great confidence boost. Kelly was the best player on the field, and could really be a great asset for the Battery this season. All in all, it was a great performance and our boys can go home with their heads held high, while Toronto is left trying to find themselves.

Toronto got their first goal in the Carolina Challenge Cup since the 2009 edition of the tournament, but they have to be asking themselves, "What's going on?" Their squad is not showing much promise, and honestly, I could see them finishing last in the MLS. They have some big questions to answer.

In the first game of the two-game session, DC defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0. DC's Blake Brettschneider scored the only goal of the match in the 10th minute, with a header off a Santino Quaranta free-kick. Chicago again had to play most of the match short-handed, when Diego Chaves got sent off in the 37th minute. Chicago apparently has a problem with getting players sent off.

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