Four days after Premier Development League rival New Orleans beat them in the 88th minute, the Baton Rouge Capitals evened the score with a 1-0 victory over the Jesters on Wednesday night at the Christian Life Academy football stadium.
Achille Campeon provided the only score when he flicked the ball past New Orleans keeper Jordan Lower late in the first half, and the Capitals pitched their fourth shutout of the year while limiting the Jesters to three shots on goal.
The Capitals, who lost 2-1 on Saturday at Pan American Stadium, will play New Orleans twice more before season’s end.
“Whenever you’re playing your local rival, it’s a huge game for building momentum,” Capitals coach Stuart Hayers said. “It’s all about pride. They’re still in a little better position than we are for a playoff spot, but this gets us back in the hunt.”
In addition to evening the season series, Baton Rouge (5-5-1) pulled within easy striking distance of New Orleans (6-4-1) for third place in the Mid-South Division standings behind El Paso and Laredo.
The top two teams in each division qualify for the PDL’s postseason.
“Being able to get a win against our rival, that’s going to give us a big boost mentally as we move forward,” Campeon said.
The Capitals improved to 4-1-1 in their last six games. They have found the net nine times during that stretch after scoring only twice in their first five games.
“We’ve had our struggles on offense, but you have to get the chemistry going,” Campeon said. “It’s picking up. We’re definitely starting to show some life.”
Campeon did his part after breaking into the open four minutes before halftime, using a slick move to fake Lower and put the ball in the net for the 1-0 lead.
The defense took charge from there, atoning for the late goal it surrendered to the Jesters in Saturday’s loss.
“The game opens up at the end,” Hayers said. “You just have to be sure your back four is nice and strong.”
Hayers called the setback at New Orleans “a bitter pill to swallow,” but the Capitals will have momentum as they visit Nashville on Saturday to start a three-game road swing. They will not be at home again until West Texas visits Baton Rouge on July 17.