The Charleston Battery played to a 1-1 draw against Atlanta United 2 on Saturday night at MUSC Health Stadium.
Gordan Wild, who played on loan with the Battery during the 2018 season, created a chance for ATLUTD2 in the 2nd minute. Wild found space on the left side of the box and challenged Kuzminsky with a well-struck shot. Kuzminsky made the initial save on Wild and the rebound bounced out to a dangerous position. ATLUTD2 forward Bienvenue Kanakimana lunged for the loose ball but Jarad van Schaik beat Kanakimana to it and cleared the danger.
Vincenzo Candela had the Battery’s first chance of the evening, stepping in front of a poor pass from the ATLUTD2 defense. He battled with a defender in the box eventually breaking free to set up a one on one with goalkeeper Brendan Moore, but Moore was up to the challenge and made the save. Candela would have a chance six minutes later off a free kick that was on target but dealt with by Moore comfortably.
Forward Zeiko Lewis missed an open net in the 24th minute that would have put the Battery up 1-0. Romario Piggot made a dashing run down the right side and latched on to a through ball out of the Battery midfield. Piggott took a few touches into the box and found Lewis open nine yards but Lewis pushed the first time shot wide of the left post. Lewis would turn provider in the 33rd minute playing Piggott in on goal but the effort was wide right. “I think we could have executed a bit better, especially me in front of goal,” said Lewis after the match. “We kept the unbeaten streak at home going and that’s all that matters.”
ATLUTD2 opened the scoring in the 71st minute through midfielder Laurent Kissiedou. With his back to goal, Kissiedou turned on a shot from six yards out to beat Kuzminsky at the right post. Kuzminsky kept things close through the second half making a number of crucial saves to keep the Battery within striking distance. Kuzminsky’s hard work would be rewarded with an equalizing goal later in the half.
Lewis would level things eight minutes later, finding the back of the net from a corner. Lewis whipped in a hard cross to the top right corner of the goal and forced Moore into making a play on the ball. The ATLUTD2 keeper got his fingertips to the ball but didn’t have enough to tip the ball over the goal. “I’ve scored goals like that before,” said Lewis. “Our game plan was to challenge the goalkeeper from our corners and that’s what I tried to do. We put two guys on the near post in front of him and it gave him trouble.”
The Battery are back in action Wednesday night against Nashville SC in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup. The match can be streamed live on ESPN+. The Battery return to USL Championship play on June 1st against Louisville City FC at Slugger Field.
CHARLESTON: Kuzminsky, van Schaik, Archer, Nelson, Rittmeyer, Candela, Anunga, Piggott, Higashi (Marini 78’, YC 82), Svantesson (Daley 59’), Lewis (goal 79’)
Substitutes: Breno, Paterson, Daley, Bosua, Mason, Marini, Kelly
ATLANTA: Moore, Metcalf (Barajas 77’), Campbell (YC 67’), Wyke (YC 90’), Gallagher, Kratz (Vint 45’), Asiedu, Luiz Fernandez, Kissiedou (YC 59’, goal 71’), Wild, Kanakimana (Samuel 61’)