Charleston Battery News Release - www.charlestonbattery.com
WASHINGTON DC -- The Charleston Battery lost to DC United in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final Wednesday night at RFK Stadium in front of 8,212. Ian Fuller scored the lone Battery goal to tie the game in the first half but Fred converted for United just after halftime to lift DC to victory.
The win gives United it’s first National Championship since 1996 and they advance to represent the U.S.A in the 2009 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League. It was the Battery’s first appearance in the Cup final and the first for a USL side since 1999.
Charleston started slowly and paid the price conceding in the 4th minute after the ball was worked to Luciano Emilio at the edge of the box. Emilio took a touch then drove a shot into the top corner as Hudock just failed to keep it out.
The Battery responded by pushing forward and were rewarded for their efforts with a goal in the 11th minute. Defender Nelson Akwari played an excellent diagonal pass out to Chris Williams on the right side. Williams cut inside his man then left the ball for Fuller just inside the box. Fuller fired home neatly into the bottom right corner.
Charleston almost took the lead in the 20th minute with a sweeping counter-attack from the left side. The ball was quickly worked to striker Lazo Alavanja but his hard left-footed effort cannoned back off the post.
In the 35th minute Stephen Armstrong was brought down 20 yards out just to the left of center. Osvaldo Alonso took the ensuing free kick but curled his shot over the crossbar.
In the 45th minute DC came close after earning a free kick 25 yards out. Santino Quaranta took the shot but his attempt was smothered by Dusty Hudock.
DC regained the lead in the 49th minute after a slotted through-ball to substitute winger Fred. Fred carried the ball into the box and beat Hudock with a sharp right-footed shot at the near-post.
The Battery piled on the pressure looking for an equalizer. Ian Fuller slipped a superb pass through the middle for Armstrong in the 66th minute but the defender just managed to shield the ball back to the keeper.
In time added on at the end of the match the Battery thought they had equalized after Marco Reda slipped the ball to substitute midfielder David Kenga at the edge of the six-yard box. The ball wound up in the back of the net but the goal was disallowed as Reda was adjudged to have been in an offside position.
Charleston returns to league action on Saturday night with a 7:30 PM match versus the Carolina RailHawks in Cary, NC (REAL 1340 AM / USLLive.com).