The Charleston Battery played to a 0-0 draw against St. Louis FC on Saturday night at MUSC Health Stadium. Charleston and St. Louis extended their respective unbeaten streaks at home and on the road in a physical battle between two of the league’s best defenses.
St. Louis opened the stronger team with quality chances in the first ten minutes of the match. Albert Dikwa provided the best chance for St. Louis, a cross to the feet of forward Kyle Greig, but the shot was up and over the crossbar. “Yeah, I think they watched us and caught us off guard in the first couple minutes of the match,” said coach Anhaeuser. “We settled down after that and we played very well defensively for the rest of the match.
Nico Rittmeyer and Zeiko Lewis looked dangerous as the Battery searched for a way to break down the St. Louis backline. Rittmeyer consistently pressured St. Louis down the left sending in crosses towards forward Arthur Bosua, and cutting in on his right foot for a shot. Rittmeyer would be subbed off in the 76th minute after picking up an injury.
Lewis made use of his quick feet and impressive touch to create one of the best chances for the Battery in the 28th minute. Dante Marini loffted a ball into Lewis who extended his leg and brought the ball down off his chest before chipping two St. Louis defenders towards Bosua who missed just wide on a diving header.
Goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky did his fair share in earning a point for the Battery in the hard-fought draw. Kuzminsky was put to the test early in the match following a St. Louis free kick from twenty yards out in the 3rd minute of play. It was a decent free kick that made it over the Battery wall, but it was handled comfortably by Kuzminsky.
Greig would force another save from Kuzminsky in the 80th minute on a powerful shot from outside the eighteen. “It was a pretty even fight for the whole 90 minutes, we had our chances and they had theirs,” said Kuzminsky. “It took us a while to see what they were doing up top and make the proper adjustments. In the end, it’s a point and something to work on for our next match.”
Saturday nights draw is the first of three matches the Battery will play over the next week. The Battery head to Greenville on Wednesday to take on Greenville Triumph SC in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup. “We have to go on the road for the next two matches. We’ve got guys coming off of injuries and we need to be careful how we manage minutes for all of our guys,” said Anhaeuser. “Some of the younger guys are going to need to step up.