Another early goal allowed, another loss.
It’s a story that’s becoming all too familiar to the Charlotte Eagles in a frustrating USL Pro League season.
Most recent case in point – Monday night’s 1-0 loss to Sacramento Republic FC in front of 647 fans at the Queens University Athletic Complex. The Republic’s Tommy Stewart scored the game’s only goal on a 15-foot shot into the upper right corner of the net in the 10th minute.
But the Eagles, despite several good chances to score during the rest of the first half, couldn’t come up with the equalizer.
“We were off tonight,” Eagles assistant coach Steve Shak said. “The whole game we struggled to find a rhythm. Our passing wasn’t very good at all – we were very inconsistent.”
It was the second straight shutout against the Eagles (5-10-3, 18 points), who have been shut out five times this season. Charlotte has scored just three goals in its past five games, but has still managed a winning record (2-1-2) in that stretch.
“We’ve been creating scoring chances, and we had a couple tonight. But when you don’t capitalize that just adds to your frustration,” Shak said.
Fred Sekyere missed the Eagles’ best chance to score when he banged a header off the right goalpost from just outside the six-yard box in the 28th minute.
Charlotte, outshot 7-5 for the game, didn’t get nearly that close to putting one in the back of the net in the second half. The Eagles managed just one shot on goal after halftime, and the Republic (10-6-2, 31 points) sat on its one-goal lead with a possession-oriented game.
Sacramento, in fourth place in the league, has won two of its past three.
The Eagles are farther back in the standings, 10th in the 14-team league. But Shak says there’s still plenty to play for.
“We’ve still got one-third of the season left, and this is a hard week, with a couple of games coming up on the road,” he said. “We don’t have time to sit and sulk about things.”
Notes: The Eagles play at Pittsburgh on Thursday and at Dayton on Saturday…The next home game is at 7 p.m. July 26 against the Wilmington Hammerheads.
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