KANSAS CITY - The Charleston Battery played to a 0-0 draw against Swope Park Rangers at Children’s Mercy Park on Wednesday night. The point brings the Battery level on points with 10th place Saint Louis FC heading into the weekend.
Swope Park looked the more comfortable team in attack during the first half of play creating a few quality chances early on in the match. In-form Swope forward Wilson Harris missed out on a golden chance to put the Rangers up 1-0 in the 3rd minute but was inches off his mark. Aleksander Andrade picked out Wilson in the box with a cross and Harris pushed his attempt header just wide of the right post. Tyler Freeman would have a chance of his own five minutes later but his shot from just outside the box was straight to Joe Kuzminsky who made an easy save.
There were a few nervy moments for the Battery throughout the match with the first coming in the 23rd minute courtesy of Swope's Freeman. Freeman attacked Angelo Kelly in a one on one down the left sideline before attempting a cross which deflected toward the Battery goal but was eventually cleared by Taylor Mueller. Felipe Hernandez struck the Battery's left post in the 30th minute after a failed clearance from the Black and Yellow backline.
Kotaro Higashi had Charleston's only shot in the first half after breaking free from a couple of Swope defenders and finding space in the box in the 17th minute. (Explain the build-up and chance) Eric Dick did well to make the save and keep Higashi and the Battery from getting out to a 0-1 lead.
The match opened up in the second half with both teams creating a number of dangerous opportunities searching for the opening goal. Ian Svantesson showed his speed and strength after getting down the left sideline and into the box, driving towards the Swope goal line. Svantesson rolled a weak shot towards goal but the ball slipped through the legs of Eric Dick. The Rangers' goalkeeper was able to recover and pounce on the loose ball before it crossed the line. Romario Piggott looked to make it back to back games with a goal but was denied by Dick in the 55th minute. Piggott led all Battery players with three shots on the evening.
Kuzminsky made four saves in the draw leading the Battery defense to its third straight shutout. Kuzminsky kept Harris from scoring an early second-half goal with a brilliant save in the 49th minute and parried away a free-kick attempt from Wan Kuzain in the 81st. The third-year keeper now has fifteen saves over his last three starts and a total of six shutouts on the year.
Charleston's last chance came off the boot of Vincenzo Candela in the 86th minute. Substitute Arthur Bosua did well to pressure Dick who played an errant pass out of the back towards teammate Ayyoub Allach. Allach was unable to control and Zeiko Lewis stepped in to steal possession away from the midfielder. Lewis found Candela making a late run to the top of the eighteen and the midfielder's shot crashed off the right post and out for a goal kick.