The Battery tied New York Red Bulls II, 1-1, at MUSC Health Stadium on Saturday night.
It was a relatively quiet first half for both sides with the Red Bulls pressing from the start, and the Battery looking for a way through a congested midfield. Jarad van Schaik forced an early save from Evan Louro, who was unable to control the initial shot but jumped on the rebound. It was a physical first half between the sides culminating with a straight red card for Tah Brian Anunga in the 45th minute.
Starting the second half a man down, the Battery came out the more aggressive team challenging a Red Bulls backline that continued to play a high line. Halftime substitute Kyle Nelson was a threat in the midfield. Nelson’s presence in the midfield created an opportunity for Nicque Daley in the 48th minute who was through on goal following a headed pass for Nelson. Daley’s touch was a bit strong and goalkeeper Evan Louro beat an outstretched Daley to eliminate the danger.
Daley was a constant threat for the Red Bulls high defensive line and found the breakthrough for the Battery in the 54th minute. Kotaro Higashi intercepted a poor pass and played a ball in behind the New York backline and Daley was able to use his pace to get around defender Preston Kilwien. Kilwien struggled to keep up with the speedster and pulled on the back of the forward's jersey to stay close enough to make a play. Daley kept his composure and put the ball in the back of the net for his second goal of the season.
The powerful Red Bulls attack created several chances in search of a tying goal. Jared Stroud found Mathias Jorgensen open on the back shoulder of Romario Piggott six yards out with an open net. The forward’s left-footed effort was pushed wide of the left post and the chance was gone.
Jorgensen would redeem his earlier miss finding himself in the right place at the right time for the Red Bulls in the 80th minute. Janos Loebe carried the ball into a dangerous area on the left side of the penalty spot before finding Stroud in the area with a low pass. Stroud’s one time shot deflected off Taylor Mueller and to the feet of Jorgensen who slipped a shot past Leland Archer and Jow Kuzminsky.
Zeiko Lewis had a chance to win it for the Battery in the fourth minute of stoppage time. The referee awarded Charleston a free kick less than a yard outside the penalty area with Vincenzo Candela and Lewis lined up over the dead ball. Lewis’ shot was up and over the wall but a yard or two high and it would prove to be the last action of the match.