After an electric start to the 2016 season, the Charleston Battery hit the snooze button in week two. It appeared as though the Battery's road demons of 2015 had returned to haunt them Friday night, as they failed to put away an Orlando City B side that was short handed for nearly the entirety of the 2nd half.
It was deja vu all over again Friday, after kickoff was once again delayed due to lightning. A start all too familiar to both OCB and Charleston, whose week one kickoffs were both delayed due to weather.
The chances on goal came early and often for the Battery who out shot Orlando 21-3, but those shots found nothing but frustration as the Battery squandered opportunity after opportunity, with only a handful of those shots being anywhere near target.
The opening half saw Charleston get off to a strong start putting together some good possession and combo play. The Battery's 1st chance came at 8', off a nice shot by Garbanzo that was saved by Orlando's Ridgers, deflected to Chang, but his shot sailed wide.
Orlando failed to find very much traction against the Battery back four, finding just two shots in the 1st half , only one coming anywhere near goal. In the 22' a DaSilva cross found Rocha who couldn't get the ball past Tambakis.
Tambakis was rarely tested in his second clean sheet of the season, picking up two saves.
Orlando found itself in a bit of a pickle shortly after the start of the 2nd half of play. in the 50th minute MF Antonio Rocha was sent off after his second yellow card, taking down Zach Prince hard out of bounds.
The remainder of the match saw the Battery turn up the pressure on the Lions, dominating possession and sending the short handed OCB scrambling back on their heels.
Down to 10 men, Orlando proceeded to park the bus, packing the box and taking their time with what little possession they could find. The Battery on the other hand flung all they could forward. The two Battery fullbacks, rarely found themselves in the defensive third. But the Battery never did find a way to put the scrappy Lions away, missing shot after shot, finally having to settle for 1 point on the road.
The Battery push, produced an abundance of shots but very little in the way of quality. Ricardo Garbanzo was one of the few bright spots of the Charleston attack, with a game leading 5 shots, 2 very nearly giving the Battery the win.
MAN OF THE MATCH:
Played fantastic, a big reason OCB couldn't get the ball moving.
STRONG AT CB
Mueller and Ferguson were their reliable selves. if you want to know how the Battery held Orlando to 3 shots, look no further than these two.
There was a lack of goals but it wasn't for lack of chances. The Battery took 21 shots Friday night, but only a handful of those came anywhere near a goal. You would think the ball was filled with helium after the amount of shots that sailed far over the crossbar
Charleston is riding the struggle bus once again on the road. In 2015 the Battery had a disappointing 4-6-4 record away from MUSC Health Stadium. If Charleston wants to make a serious run this year they need to get the road monkey off their back.
The Battery take on the Wilmington Hammerheads at home on Saturday, 4/2. 7:30 Kickoff