The Charleston Battery returned home to MUSC Health Stadium to take on the Charlotte Independence Wednesday night. The Battery wrapped up a tough road stretch last Saturday with a 1-1 draw at FC Cincinnati.
The Battery have been in fantastic form as of late getting results on the road against the top three teams in three teams in the Eastern Conference.
Charleston rode their moment to an explosive start against Charlotte scoring the opening goal in just the eighth minute. Romario Williams notched his ninth goal for the Battery, calmly finishing a fantastic bit of play created by midfielder Maikel Chang.
Chang has been in amazing form recently, bagging three assists and a goal in the Battery’s previous three matches. “He’s been fantastic for us” said Battery coach Mike Anhaeuser, “he’s a guy we have to get the ball. He’s a guy that can cross it and put the ball in good positions for our forwards, and if we do that he’s going to find success. He’s had a great first two thirds of the season.”
The Battery continued to dominate throughout the first 30 minutes of the match, riding high off the quick start. But as halftime approached it became apparent that the recent road stretch had taken it’s toll as the tide began to turn in the Independence’s favor, as the Charlotte attack cranked up the pressure on the visibly tired home side.
“We took our foot off the pedal a bit” said Coach Anhaeuser. “We scored a great opening goal then started to do things a little differently and move away from what was successful in the early part of the match, you have to give them credit, they moved the ball on us. They passed it really well and got us back on our heels a little bit. They didn’t create that many chances in the first half, but they wore us down and it took its toll over the course of the game.”
The Battery managed to take things into the locker room still clinging to a one goal advantage, but the surging Independence netted the seemingly inevitable equalizer in the second half.
In the 65th minute Charlotte’s Caleb Calvert put his club back on level terms, smashing his shot past Odisnel Cooper off the assist from Enzo Martinez.
With the match clock ticking down the wilted Battery put the game in the sure hands of keeper Odisnel Cooper who made several big time to keep the Independence attack at bay saves to save a point for the Battery at home.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Chang was once again the driving force behind the Battery attack notching a beautiful to Romario Williams as he continues to make the case that he’s ready for the next level.
KEY TAKE AWAYS
Before the fatigue set in the Battery attack was magnificent. The outstanding play of Chang coupled with the scoring threats of Williams and Cordoves could be a force to reckoned with as the USL playoff race heats up.
LASSO STEPS UP FOR AILING DEFENSE
With veteran defender Taylor Mueller out 2-3 weeks with what is believed to be a sprained shoulder, backup Forrest Lasso stepped up big in the clutch for the Battery making several potentially game saving stops.
A MUCH NEEDED BREAK
After a escaping a grueling four game stretch unbeaten, the Battery will have a 10 day break before their next match against Montreal.
Battery Captain Shawn Ferguson:
“It Felt like the team energy was a little low. I don’t know if it’s because we had a tough stretch of games against high ranked teams, so I don’t know if maybe that caught up with us. It usually seems like we’re the more fit team playing here but it didn’t seem that way at the end of the match. ”
Home vs FC Montreal, Saturday 7/13 7:30 pm