The Charleston Battery and the Carolina Challenge Cup: Close but not quite

Image by Charleston Battery D.C. United as they claim the trophy.

The Charleston Battery nearly eked out a first place win at the final night of the Carolina Challenge Cup.

But a 2-2 tie between Major League Soccer's Toronto FC and D.C. United, and a 0-0 tie between the Battery the Chicago Fire left Charleston without enough points, and D.C. United took home the trophy.

Here are all the details from the release:

Major League Soccer’s D.C. United claimed the 2011 Carolina Challenge Cup with a gritty performance in a 2-2 tie with Toronto FC Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium in front of 4,427. Needing a point to secure the cup, United came from behind to drawl level with Toronto and win the tournament for the second consecutive year. 

In the second game of the evening, the Battery played with nine men for the final hour of their match with the Chicago Fire after seeing two players sent off. The draw meant that Charleston earned a second place finish in the tournament. 

D.C. United 2 – Toronto FC 2 

Charlie Davies scored the first goal for United in the 12th, minute, smashing home a shot from close range. Toronto’s Dwayne DeRosario tied the game from the penalty-spot in the 19th minute, and Brazilian forward Maicon gave the Reds the lead with a breakaway goal in the 28th minute. 

The crucial tieing goal came in the 62nd minute after substitute midfielder Santinno Quaranta squared to forward Joseph Ngwenya who slipped the ball home. 

Charleston Battery 0 – Chicago Fire 0 

Midfielder Stephen Armstrong and defender Matt Wiltse were both sent off within minutes of each other midway through the first half, leaving Charleston with only nine players for the final hour of the match versus the Chicago Fire. 

The Fire also lost a player to a red card after defender Mark Videira was shown a second yellow in the 38th minute after tangling with Charleston forward Levis Coleman. 

With the man advantage, Chicago controlled most of the possession after the break, earning twelve corners in the process but could not find a way past a resilient Battery defensive effort. 

Substitute forward Marco Ferrari came closest for the Fire but his 64th minute strike was expertly tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra. 

The Battery almost scored an improbable win in the 89th minute after a strong run from midfield by winger JC Mack. Mack rounded the last defender but his right-footed driven shot was smothered by Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson. 

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