Orlando, Fla. — Charleston fell to the Orlando City Lions, 2-1, Thursday night at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
After conceding an early goal, the Battery fought back to a 1-1 tie, but Orlando’s Jamie Watson converted a penalty kick in the 75th minute to lift the Lions.
The win moves Orlando (11-2-4) four points clear at the top of the USL Pro League standings while the Battery (7-4-6) remains in sixth place.
The Battery started brightly and almost took the lead in the 3rd minute after Jose Cuevas took the ball around the last defender at the edge of the box. Cuevas looked up to shoot but hooked his shot wide of the right post.
Quinton Griffith came close in the 23rd minute after a piece of individual skill saw him drift past Orlando defender Luke Boden. Griffith hit a hard shot at the goal, but Orlando goalkeeper Jon Kempin punched the ball away to safety.
Watson put Orlando ahead just before the half-hour mark, slotting into the right corner past Battery goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper.
Charleston continued to pressure Orlando and was rewarded with an equalizer in the 55th minute. Griffith played a deep cross to the back of the box to Mike Azira, who cushioned the ball back inside. Cuevas ran onto the pass and lifted a shot into the top left corner.
After the referee awarded Orlando a penalty in the 75th minute, Watson drilled the spot-kick under the body of Cooper to put Orlando back in front.
In time added on at the end of the game Charleston had one more opportunity with veteran defender John Wilson drilling a shot into the box.
The ball flicked off Paterson’s head and just missed outside the left post.
The Battery concludes its two- game road trip on Saturday night with a game versus VSI Tampa Bay at 7:30 p.m.