Ataulla Guerra’s second-half goal lifted the Charleston Battery to a 1-0 win over Penn FC Saturday night at MUSC Health Stadium.
The match started slow as both teams tried to find their attacking rhythm. The majority of the first 45 minutes was played in the middle third, with few scoring chances being created at either end.
Battery Head Coach made a few attacking adjustments at halftime and his side began asking questions of the Penn FC defense early on in the second half. The Battery started to connect through the midfield and create quality scoring opportunities following the break.
Guerra broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute with a great individual effort after Victor Mansaray slipped him through on goal. Mansaray ran at the back four and found Guerra’s slashing run across the top of Penn’s 18-yard box. Guerra received the pass, cut back onto his left foot, and smashed a shot into the side netting of the back post to put the Battery ahead.
“It was just a touch of experience and composure in front of goal,” said Guerra. “I just relaxed myself because I knew I was going to get a chance; and when I got it, I took it to the best of my ability. It was a nice finish with my weaker foot. I’m working everyday to try to improve in my finishing and my goal-scoring, so I’m happy with the goal.”
Charleston played well defensively throughout the match to earn their first shutout of the season. The back four made up of Jay Bolt, Taylor Mueller, Skylar Thomas, and Jarad van Schaik limited Penn’s quality scoring chances and only allowed three shots the entire night despite playing the final minutes down a man after Patrick Okonkwo was shown a red card in the 88th minute.
“Defensively we’re very happy,” said Anhaeuser. “We’ll be very happy that we defended very well as a team for 90 minutes tonight and take that as we head out on the road for the next few weeks.”
The Battery’s next match is Saturday, March 31 against New York Red Bulls II at Red Bull Arena. The match is scheduled to kick off at 1:00 PM. The Battery will remain on the road until April 28 when they take on Tampa Bay Rowdies at MUSC Health Stadium.