Battery comes up short at Vancouver
Whitecaps 1, Battery 0
VANCOUVER, B.C. - The Vancouver Whitecaps scored a second-half goal to hand the Charleston Battery a third consecutive loss Saturday night at Swanguard Stadium. Despite the loss the Battery remains in 8th position in the USL First Division standings with three games remaining; the top eight teams advance to the postseason.
The Battery created the first chance of the match in the fifth minute with some neat interplay between forwards Aaron King and Byron Alvarez. King slipped a pass through to Alvarez in the box but his effort from 10 yards missed wide left.
King almost scored a minute later as he slid-tackled Vancouver's goalkeeper Richard Goddard in the box. The ball popped loose but before King could slot home into an empty net, Whitecaps defender Steve Klein scrambled the ball behind for a corner.
Vancouver came close in the 8th minute as forward Josh Hansen broke free on goal. Battery defender Tim Karalexis made a superb recovering tackle and just managed to block the ball away as Hansen fired at goal.
The Battery had one more effort at goal in the first half with a direct free-kick in the 43rd minute. Alvarez curled the ball around the wall but missed the target wide left.
The game-winner came in the 58th minute as Vancouver pressured down the left side. Midfielder Jeff Clarke cut past his defender inside the penalty-area and struck a low shot past Charleston goalkeeper Dusty Hudock into the far corner.
Late in the game the Battery nearly leveled with another direct free-kick, this time taken by midfielder Lazo Alavanja. The ball skipped through a mass of players in the box but Whitecaps goalkeeper Richard Goddard got down to parry the ball wide of the goal.