Battery Outrun Red Bulls II as Apodaca, Piggott and Williams Score
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery triumphed 3-0 on Saturday over New York Red Bulls II in front of a buzzing Labor Day weekend crowd at Patriots Point. Charleston were led by goals from Aidan Apodaca, Romario Piggott (PK) and Augustine Williams to secure their first home win over New York in club history. Hugo Fauroux tallied his second clean sheet of the season. Charleston swept Red Bulls II with the victory after previously beating New York on the road in August.
The first quarter-hour began with neither side able to find an advantage as the defenses held firm. Aidan Apodaca recorded the first shot in the 4th minute, a strike just wide of the far post. New York had a dangerous opportunity in the 10th minute via John Murphy with a shot in transition but goalkeeper Hugo Fauroux came off his line to make a sliding kick-save.
Charleston broke open the match in the 17th minute when Aidan Apodaca scored off a counterattack initiated by Romario Piggott. The Panamanian midfielder intercepted New York’s pass in the defensive third and led the counter down the field, eventually finding Apodaca inside the box. Apodaca needed only one touch and slotted the shot perfectly inside the near post for his fifth goal of the season, assisted by Piggott. It was also his third goal against Red Bulls II this year.
The Battery stayed on the front foot and were eager to add to their lead in the first half. Their pressure paid off when they won a corner kick that led to a penalty being awarded for a foul inside the box by John Murphy. Piggott would take the shot from the penalty spot and tuck the ball inside the right post. The goal was his third of the year.
As the half wore on, the Battery tightened their grip and would hold New York without a shot through to halftime. Charleston took the 2-0 lead into the break while also holding 55% of possession.
Charleston aimed to keep the foot on the gas pedal and won a corner kick just minutes into the second half. AJ Paterson nearly added a third goal with a first-time shot off Robbie Crawford’s corner kick, but goalkeeper AJ Marcucci managed to make the save. Despite the quick start to the half, the game began to tone down without many clear chances for either side.
The Battery’s defense continued to limit New York and Fauroux was not called into action again after his initial save. The match was firmly put to rest in stoppage time when Augustine Williams scored in the 93rd minute. Andrew Booth started the play with a long pass down the field to Williams and the Sierra Leone striker won the foot race to the ball. From there, Williams put on a clinical display to bury the goal, his 14th of the season.
Saturday’s victory clinched the Battery’s first-ever win over New York Red Bulls II at home. The shutout also cemented Fauroux’s second clean sheet of the season.
Battery Head Coach Conor Casey and forward Aidan Apodaca discussed the night after the final whistle.
Coach Casey on his overall assessment of the victory…
I thought we came out. We looked sharp, really good mentality from our team. We set up two goals for tonight, one was to have a clean sheet and the other was to score back-to-back goals. So, we accomplished those. I’m just really proud, New York was a team that we should have beat and we did.
To get the first-ever win at home against New York feels great. We swept them this year. Rob, our owner, and his family were all here, so it was a great win, a great win for the club.
Coach Casey on the squad’s mentality and resilience on display against New York…
I think we refocused and that we were really disappointed with the Detroit performance, so they just dug in and got the job done. The guys continue to fight, they’ve continued to push each other and believe in each other. Tonight was a game that was tricky because we were expected to win. We haven’t been in that position a lot this year and it was good to see them really go for it.
Coach Casey on his message to the fans for their support tonight…
I’m just really happy for our fans, that we’re able to give them something to cheer about because there hasn’t been as much as we would have liked this year. So, thank you for your continued support. Thank you and keep coming out. We’re looking to be able to do that a couple more times by the end of the year.
Apodaca on what was working well for the squad tonight…
I think just being on the front foot, we came out, we were ready to fight and move forward. We got the first goal, then the second, and we just tried to stay on top of them from there. This victory does tons for confidence.
Apodaca on scoring against New York three times this season…
I think a lot of it is being prepared to get in behind the defense. Being on the front foot, you anticipate the ball going and getting behind. We saw it tonight, Romario broke through and all I had to do is just stay onside and it worked out.
Apodaca on using the positive result to build momentum for the home match against Tampa Bay next weekend…
This week is gonna be preparation all towards Saturday. Tampa Bay are a tough opponent, they’re top of the table but we’re looking to get a good result like today. It’s good to have our fans behind us tonight and we’ll need them again next week.
The Battery are back at Patriots Point on Saturday, September 10, for their next home match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The club will celebrate Military Appreciation Night with Hendrick Volvo Cars of Charleston and tickets are available now via SeatGeek, the Battery’s exclusive digital ticketing provider.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.