Louisville City FC weathered the Port City on Sunday as the top side in the United Soccer League (USL) Eastern Conference cruised to a 4-1 result against Wilmington Hammerheads FC.
The visitors ran their unbeaten streak to 17 straight and broke things up after a combined three goals in its previous three games. Chandler Hoffman extended his team-leading tally to 14 with a pair of scores after the break.
Wilmington was able to find a consolation tally down the stretch as Bruno Perone scored his fifth goal of the season on a penalty kick late in the match, but the Hammerheads were unable to convert throughout much of the night after their best opportunity was left squandered in the opening minutes of the first half. A misplayed ball on the backline defense gave Zev Taublieb a one-on-one opportunity as he slid a low shot out of the reach of Louisville goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh, but the attempt caromed off the left post.
Louisville City FC quickly responded and went ahead in the 12th minute on a failed clearance when Guy Abend headed in a bending ball from Tarek Morad. A corner kick set up the eventual goal as Wilmington goalkeeper Eric Ati stopped the rebound attempt before Morad assisted Abend with his third goal of the year.
Hoffman converted a penalty kick in the 64th minute to make it 2-0 and Aodan Quinn buried a free kick from just outside the 18-yard area to put things out of reach. Hoffman moved into a share of the USL goal-scoring lead with LA Galaxy II’s Jack McBean on his second goal to give Louisville City a 12-1-6 overall mark and four point lead over New York Red Bulls II for top spot in the eastern conference.
Wilmington falls to 6-7-5 (23 points) overall and 3-3-3 at home. The Hammerheads went 1-1-1 this past week and head to Orlando City on Sunday, July 24.