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The Charleston Battery suffered its heaviest defeat of the season losing 4-0 to the Orlando City Lions Friday night at the Citrus Bowl, and leaves the Battery unable to catch the first rank in the USL PRO.
The Battery finished the game with nine players after team captain Colin Falvey and his central defensive partner Kyle Hoffer both received second half red cards.
The defeat leaves the Battery (11-8-0) in third position in the USL PRO standings and mathematically unable to catch Orlando who claim the regular season championship for the second straight year. Charleston trails Rochester by five points, although with two games in hand the Battery can still catch and pass the Rhinos for the coveted second place finish.
Six teams will advance to the post-season in 2012 with the top two receiving a bye into the semi-final round.
The Battery were poor defensively from the opening whistle, and found themselves down 2-0 after only 22 minutes. Orlando opened the scoring after an errant pass from Mark Wiltse was picked off by midfielder Kevin Molino at the edge of the box. Molino ran in on goal and slipped the ball past goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra.
The second goal came after Luke Boden whipped a cross in from the near side to an unmarked Matt Luzinaris at the edge of the six yard box. Luzinaris met the cross and headed the ball powerfully past Dykstra into the left corner.
The Battery's chances for a fight back were nullified in a five minute period midway through the second half when two of their players were ejected from the game.
Colin Falvey was sent off in the 59th minute for his reaction to a stomp by Orlando's James O'Conner. The players from both teams converged in the center-circle with Falvey shown red after the scuffle subsided; O'Conner was also issued a straight red card.
Hoffer was ejected five minutes later after receiving a second yellow card for tugging on the shirt of Orlando striker Dennis Chin, leaving the Battery two players short of a full complement.
Orlando showed no mercy and piled on the pressure adding a third goal in the 77th minute after Wiltse was caught in possession just inside the half. Substitute striker Dennis Chin dribbled into the box before lifting a shot over Dykstra.
Chin added a second ten minutes later as he reacted first to the ball after Dykstra had saved a shot from outside the box.
The Battery returns to Blackbaud Stadium next Friday night for a 7:30 PM match versus the Wilmington Hammerheads.