The final score Wednesday at Blackbaud Stadium probably should read - Cuba 4, Panama City 0.
Haviel Cordoves recorded a hat trick and Maikel Chang added another goal as the Charleston Battery cruised to a 4-0 win over Panama City in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup.
With the victory, the Battery will face Orlando City FC U-23 team on May 28 at Blackbaud Stadium in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.
Cordoves and Chang, along with Charleston keeper Odisnel Cooper, defected from Cuba back in the fall of 2012 and joined the Battery team last season.
A year ago Cordoves was mainly used as a reserve, coming off the Charleston bench to provide instant offense. Chang, on the other hand, suffered through an injury-plagued season, seeing action in just nine matches.
Cordoves and Chang were dangerous on the attack all night, creating scoring chance after scoring chance against the outmanned Beach Pirates, a USL Professional Development team made up of current and former college players.
The beginning of the match was delayed for 15 minutes as three Panama City players were held out of the game due to registration issues with U.S. Soccer.
The delay only prolonged the inevitable outcome.
It took Chang all of five minutes to get the Battery on the scoreboard with nifty bit of foot work, scoring his first goal in a Battery uniform.
"We came out very well and dictated the play for the first 30 minutes," said Charleston head coach Mike Anhaeuser. "We created a lot of chances, and Cordoves and Chang played very well for us all night."
Chang showed the form that made him a member of the Cuban national team.
"Chang is a very talented player," Anhaeuser said. "He had a few injuries last season that really kept him out of the lineup. Hopefully, this performance will give him some confidence moving forward."
Cordoves spent the offseason playing indoor soccer, shedding about 15 pounds from last summer. It has improved the Cuban's stamina and increased his work rate. Panama City had no answer for Cordoves.
"He's a handful when he gets going," said Battery midfielder Justin Portillo, who had two assists on the night. "He has a nose for the goal, and from the first practice with him I knew he was a natural goal scorer. He's almost impossible to stop when he gets around the goal."
Cordoves, who scored in the 16th, 26th and 50th minute, just missed recording four goals. But his penalty kick in first half sailed over the cross bar.
""It was a good win for us," Anheauser said. "We were able to rest some guys and still play very well."
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