With a constant downpour the entire game, the Charleston Battery were able to withstand the rain and preserve a 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls reserves on Friday night at Blackbaud Stadium.
“Their keeper made 2 or 3 really good saves in the first half,” Battery head coach Mike Anhaeuser stated after the game, “They put the penalty away, but you have to credit our guys for coming back down. It was a good ball by Zach Prince, Heviel Cordoves whipped a great ball into the box and Dane Kelly finished it off. Unluckily, we didn’t get the second one to win.”
The Battery dominated the chances in the first half of play in the wet conditions. In the 23rd minute forward Dane Kelly pressured New York defender Kevin Politz into a turnover just outside of their goal box. After collecting the turnover, Kelly sprinted toward the goal and had his shot blocked by Red Bulls keeper Ryan Meara. The ball ricocheted onto the foot of Battery forward Mamadou Diouf, whose shot was blocked and cleared quickly by New York.
Late in the half, Kelly was able to intercept a pass about 30 yards away from the goal. Kelly stopped immediately and fired a shot on target that was bobbled and then controlled by Meara in front of the goal.
The second half started slowly but the 66th minute saw the excitement of the match surge when Zach Prince was called for a foul in the box and the Red Bulls were awarded a penalty kick. After some protest from Charleston, Red Bulls midfielder Michael Bustamante stepped up and calmly buried the ball in the back of the net.
The Battery were able to answer and tie the game in the 73rd minute. Prince played a through ball from just inside the Charleston defensive half and forward Haviel Cordoves tracked it down deep in their attacking zone. Cordoves quickly fired a low cross in front of the goal mouth and Dane Kelly slid in to knock the ball home.
In a very physical match, tensions boiled over in the 76th minute and, after a brief scuffle between the two teams, Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara was sent off after receiving 2 yellow cards during the incident. Red Bulls midfielder Michael Bustamante and Battery defender Colin Falvey were also given yellow cards for their involvement in the incident. Falvey would pick up a second yellow in the 89th minute and was also sent off.
The Battery will next face the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday, April 26 at 6:00 p.m.
Referee: Howard Ash
Assistant Referees: Wayne Pavlischek, Mike Catlett
Charleston Battery: Odisnel Cooper, Jackson Farmer, Colin Falvey, Taylor Mueller, John Wilson, Quinton Griffith (Adam Mena 69’), Aminu Abdallah (Dante Marini 80’), Jarad van Schaik, Andre Lewis (Zach Prince 61’), Mamadou Diouf (Haviel Cordoves 61’), Dane Kelly (Justin Portillo 89’)
Players Not Used – Shawn Ferguson, Eric Shannon
SHOTS: 15 (Kelly 7); SAVES: 3 (Cooper 3); FOULS: 14 (Abdallah 3); CORNER KICKS: 4; OFFSIDES: 4; PENALTY KICKS: (NONE); CAUTIONS: Abdullah 61, Prince 65,Falvey 79; EJECTIONS: Falvey 89
NYRB: Ryan Meara, Chris Duvall, Billy Stevens, Kevin Politz, Ambroise Oyongo, Connor Lade (Ian Christianson 80’), Michael Bustamante, Ruben Bover (Chris Lena 61’), Eric Stevenson, Derrick Etienne, Arun Busaljevic
Players Not Used – none
SHOTS: 6 (Etienne, Bustamante 2); SAVES: 10 (Meara 6); FOULS: 11 (Lena 3); CORNER KICKS: 3; OFFSIDES: 2; PENALTY KICKS: Bustamante 66 goal; CAUTIONS: Meara 79, Stevens 70; EJECTIONS: Meara 79