Miami FC Hand Battery 3-2 Defeat on the Road
Three unaswered goals lift Miami past Charleston
MIAMI – The Battery fell 3-2 to The Miami FC following three unanswered goals scored by the South Florida side. Nicque Daley (11′) and Zeiko Lewis (31′) put Charleston ahead 0-2 in the first half before being countered by goals from Miami’s Ariel Martinez (45′), Christiano François (61′), and Billy Forbes (78′). The away defeat snaps the Battery’s three-game win streak.
The first half got off to an active start with free kicks awarded to each side in the first 10 minutes of play. DZ Harmon and Stavros Zarokostas led the Battery’s press along the right side but were unable to convert. Nicque Daley put Charleston ahead in the 11th minute after the ball was headed twice before he put his own head on it to advance into the 18-yard box. From there, Daley had just Miami goalkeeper Connor Sparrow to beat and Nicque sent it past him to the center of the goal. Miami’s Lamar Walker thought to have equalized in the 21st minute, but he was flagged offside before appearing to score.
Charleston doubled their lead in the 31st minute on a counterattack that saw Daley find Zeiko Lewis for the goal. Nicque placed a perfect through ball and Lewis sent the ball home into the bottom left corner of the net. Miami pressed on to cut the Battery’s lead with a handful of dangerous runs later in the half, one notably that featured a tangle between goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky and forward Ariel Martinez that saw Martinez’s chance come up empty. The hosts managed to get one back in the 45th minute via Martinez from the center of the box to make it 1-2 before halftime. Miami handled 66.5% of the possession, but were outshot 3-to-5 by the Battery.
The second half continued much of the same trends, as Miami held more of the possession (60%), but the sides both traded shots. Zeiko Lewis narrowly missed in the 56th minute with an attempt from outside the box that was just wide right of the post. Miami equalized in the 61st minute via Christiano François, assisted by Robert Baggio, who worked his way past defender Patrick Hogan and then put the ball past Kuzminsky. Charleston found a one-man advantage in the 70th minute when Baggio was shown a red card for violent conduct.
The defining moment on the scoreline came in the 78th minute when Miami’s Billy Forbes scored the go-ahead goal on a free kick from just outside the box. Forbes sent a left-footed curler into the top right corner of the net past Kuzminsky’s reach. The Battery threatened to regain a point in the result but were unable to convert. Among the best opportunities of the push came from a headed attempt by Romario Piggott on a cross by Burke Fahling, but the ball went just wide of the post. Ben Di Rosa registered a pair of shots inside the box during stoppage time but both were blocked before the final whistle eventually blew.
Battery Head Coach Michael Anhaeuser recognized the team’s strong start but also Miami’s resilience to overcome the deficit to secure the win.
”We caught them early and got the early goal, caught them on the counter twice,” said Anhaeuser. “I don’t think much changed for Miami [in the second half], they were really moving the ball well, finding the hole in there. [Miami] were still getting it in the same spots. Unfortunately, they got that goal to tie it up.”
“It’s your second road game and you can see some of our legs,” said Anhaesuer. “It’s two difficult games from a physical standpoint, I do think it did affect us a little bit.”Anhaeuser will look to rally his squad ahead of this Friday’s match against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC by building on the positives and working to make improvements in front of the Patriots Point faithful.
“We got to keep it rolling at home, obviously that’s where our focus is now,” said Anhaeuser. “Let’s leave this behind us now, we can’t do anything about it. It’s back home and I told these guys we can’t be disappointed, we have to get ourselves ready [for Friday] physically and mentally.”We get back and then we regroup refreshed to get back on track Friday at home where we’ve been playing very well.”
Battery forward Zeiko Lewis said the squad will look to bounce back at home following two consecutive road matches.
”It was a tough game, but we will bounce back, we’ve played a lot of games in a short period of time,” said Lewis. “Two back-to-back turf fields away is tough, but we move on to the next one. We grow and bounce back, getting ready to play at home Friday.”
The night featured a Battery debut for Josh Penn, who signed with the club earlier in the week on a season-long loan from MLS side Inter Miami CF. Charleston will return home to take on Atlantic Division-leading Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on Friday, August 6 at Patriots Point, tickets are still available and can be purchased here.