The Charlotte Eagles made the short under-two-hour drive up to Greensboro to take on the PDL’s Carolina Dynamo and left for home with a 3-1 victory in the First Round of the 2011 US Open Cup. This was the first time these two nearby clubs have played since the Second Round in 2004, when the Dynamo upset the Eagles, 4-2.
Carolina pressured early in the match, culminating in an opportunity where Sebastien Ibeagha headed the ball off the crossbar, receiving it off a corner kick. But it would be Charlotte to strike first in the 23rd minute on a goal from Tobagan midfielder Darren Toby. The Eagles would get a chance to push their lead to 2-0, earning a penalty kick in the 30th minute. However, Jorge Herrera’s try was saved by Dynamo goalkeeper Scott Goodwin. Carolina would feed off that save until finally breaking through in the 39th minute. Robbie Lovejoy received the pass just outside the 18, juked past a Charlotte defender and beat the keeper with a shot to the far post, tying the match 1-1. They would take that scoreline to the break.
The Eagles took control in the second half early, retaking the lead in the 49th minute on a goal from Brazilian Diego Martins. They would hold that lead for much of the half, then put the icing on the cake late in the 85th minute. The goal to clinch it by a 3-1 scoreline would be scored by none other Alan Sanchez, who was signed by the Dynamo in 2007 but never got to suit up for the squad.
The Charlotte Eagles advance to the Second Round, where they will face another North Carolina team, albeit one they are a little more familiar with. They will travel to Wilmington to take on the Hammerheads on June 21 at Legion Stadium.
Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO)
Carolina Dynamo (PDL) Macpherson Stadium – Browns Summit, N.C.