Charlotte -- Rookie forward Levi Coleman scored a second-half winner for the Charleston Battery on Saturday night at Charlotte Christian School in front of 1,113 as Charleston defeated the Charlotte Eagles 3-2 in the opening game of the USL2 season.
The Battery watched a two-goal lead evaporate before substitute forward Coleman stroked home in the 78th minute to lift Charleston.
Debutants Rudolph Mayard and Mike Zaher both scored as Charleston raced to a two goal lead inside the first 32 minutes.
Mayards goal came in the 8th minute after the Eagles failed to clear from a corner kick. Defender Colin Falvey headed the ball back into the box for Mayard who spun and drilled home from six yards out.
The second goal also came from a corner as defender Mike Zaher ran onto a loose clearance just outside the box. Zaher lashed a volley though a crowd of players and into the bottom right corner of the goal.
Showing typical resiliency the Eagles fought back and managed to cut the deficit in half before half-time, converting from a neatly worked set-piece. After the break Charlotte enjoyed most of the possession and were rewarded in the 72nd minute with a second goal as rookie striker Ogunseye Debola tapped home from close range.
Coleman had only been on the field for three minutes when the ball was played through to him ten yards out by striker Tom Heinemann. Coleman steadied himself and watched with relief as his low shot rolled past Charlotte goalkeeper Stewart Ceus just inside the far post.
Charleston goalkeeper Tim Melia, also making his debut for the Battery, recorded three saves all in the second half as Charlotte pushed forward and took the game to the Battery.
The Battery returns to Blackbaud Stadium next Saturday night to take on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the 2010 home opener at 7:30 p.m.