Anunga's stoppage-time equalizer extends unbeaten streak for Battery

Anunga's stoppage-time equalizer extends unbeaten streak for Battery
Courtesy: Charleston Battery

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Charleston Battery and Indy Eleven played to a 3-3 draw at Lucas Oil Stadium in a midweek match that saw four goals scored in the final 23 minutes.  The draw extends the Battery's unbeaten streak to eleven games in all competitions and nine games in league play.

In keeping consistent with the Battery's recent run of games, the match against the Eleven started slowly with both teams feeling each other out. The two sides traded possession in the middle third of the field, with neither registering a shot on goal until Soony Saad broke the deadlock with a long range effort just before halftime.

The Eleven earned a free kick about 35 yards from goal in the 43rd minute. Brad Ring rolled the dead ball into the path of Saad who ran onto it and smashed a shot that found the top corner of Joe Kuzminksy's goal to put the hosts in front.

For the second consecutive week, Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser's halftime adjustments proved effective and his side found an equalizer shortly after the break. Playing in his first USL match this season, O'Brian Woodbine made a lung-bursting run down the right flank to get on the end of Gordon Wild's deflected shot. Woodbine calmly tucked the ball into the far corner of Owain Fon Williams' goal from a tight angle to draw the Battery level.

Following Charleston's equalizer, the game was open with chances coming at either end. Ataulla Guerra scored his seventh goal of the season in the 80th minute after a great passage of play to edge the Battery in front. Tah Brian Anunga played a long ball through to Nico Rittmeyer who was making a run down the right flank. Rittmeyer dribbled to the endline and found Guerra with a cutback. Guerra finished well under pressure to put the Battery in front, but the lead didn't last long.

Shortly after Guerra's go-ahead goal, the referee awarded Indy a penalty when Jack McInerney ended up on the turf while trying to chase down a bouncing ball. Ayoze Garcia converted the penalty, tying the game for the second time.

The Battery conceded another set piece goal in the 93rd minute. Ayoze scored his second goal of the night, and what looked to be the game-winner, curling a left-footed shot around the wall and beating Kuzminsky from about 25-yards out.

With just one minute of the added four remaining, Charleston answered immediately. Neveal Hackshaw picked up the ball at midfield and drove at the Indy defense before finding Guerra inside the penalty area. Guerra took a few touches towards goal then laid the ball square into space. Anunga ran onto the pass and found the bottom corner of the goal from the top of the box to rescue a point.

The draw extends the Battery's unbeaten streak and brings them within two points of first-place Louisville City FC. Charleston will take the weekend to recover before heading to Kennesaw, Georgia to take on Atlanta United (MLS) in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, June 6. The fourth-round match is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 PM at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.