Battery defeated 2-0 on the road in Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH, Pa. (June 10, 2023) – The Charleston Battery were defeated 2-0 on the road to Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on Saturday at Highmark Stadium. An early goal and a late strike for the hosts made the difference, despite the Battery holding a majority of the possession and outshooting Pittsburgh, 13 to four. Charleston will look rebound in their next match, on the road against Hartford Athletic on Saturday.
Charleston found themselves with an early deficit to overcome when Pittsburgh’s Junior Etou netted for the hosts in the 1st minute. The Battery’s response was courageous as they held roughly 66% of possession in the opening 20 minutes and earned a handful of free kicks and corner kicks in dangerous spots.
Goalkeeper Trey Muse was tested again in the 26th minute, making an easy save on Luke Biasi’s shot. It was Pittsburgh’s final shot of the half as they settled into a more defensive formation to preserve their early lead.
The 1-0 score held into halftime with the Battery unable to convert the chances they created. Charleston held nearly 65% of possession in the first half, registered more passes in the final third (63 to 44) and outshot Pittsburgh four to two.
Play resumed in the second half with Charleston searching for an equalizer, dictating play while holding the majority of possession and passes in the opposition’s half through the initial 20 minutes. Muse stepped up to make an important save in the 61st minute following a Pittsburgh counterattack.
Charleston continued to hamper Pittsburgh inside their own box through the 75th minute but were unable to put one past goalkeeper Jahmali Waite. AJ Paterson and substitute, Fidel Barajas, registered close shots that were just off-target.
Pittsburgh managed to double their lead in the 83rd minute via Tola Showunmi. The tally would put the game out of reach for Charleston, sealing the 2-0 victory for the hosts.
Head Coach Ben Pirmann and defender Derek Dodson discussed the match after the final whistle, with key quotes to follow.
Coach Pirmann on his initial takeaways from the night…
The immediate takeaway is for the second time in three games, we haven’t started well. It’s bad coaching, it’s bad play by our center-backs, it’s poor play by our senior players. We’ve lost two of the last three games within 20 seconds of kickoff. It’s unacceptable and I don’t know why we’re not learning from it.
Coach Pirmann on turning things around after the recent run of games…
There are two sentiments. We are a team that’s had a solid season and we have exceeded our expectations massively. We’re also not as good as certain people may think we are. There are definitely other teams that are really good, like Pittsburgh and Memphis. They both made the semifinals last year and they’re both on fire.
We’ve been really good between the 18-yard boxes, we’ve been really good building the play and we’ve been really good in our organized defending. But, we can’t seem to defend kickoffs. And, we aren’t dialed in enough; whether it’s making good decisions, whether it’s technically executing, whether it’s going to the right spot. You can’t start the game down a goal against the best defensive team in the league. We’ve got to make sure that we’re dialed in for 90 minutes, not 82 minutes, not 70 minutes.
Dodson on positives and negatives from tonight’s performance…
When we executed our game plan and the things that we worked on for the two days leading up to this game, we found success. We controlled the flow of the game. We had the tools and information that would allow us to win the game, but it’s tough going down a goal in the first minute
Pittsburgh is always a hard place to play. They are one of the best defensive teams in the league, so going down early against them on the road, at their stadium with their fans behind them, was hard. You can’t really get a good handle on the game when they put that goal in. It’s tough to turn that momentum. So, it’s about cutting out those early goals that are starting to become a trend and allowing ourselves to absolutely have a foothold in the game.
Dodson on moving forward and learning from this game ahead of Hartford on Saturday…
It’s a massive game on Saturday, going three games without a win. It’s very important to have a response and to get back to winning ways, but also as a group to get together and put a nip in the bud. We have to respond now. We can’t go four games without getting a result. We have a tough stretch of games on the road coming up, so we need to switch the focus to Saturday and put in a good week of training and go out and get a result away against a strong Hartford team.
The Battery will travel to Connecticut on Sat., June 17, for a match against Hartford Athletic. Charleston return to Patriots Point on Fri., June 30, to take on Loudoun United FC. This home game also includes a Fourth of July fireworks celebration and the summer nights $3 beer promotion. Tickets are available now via SeatGeek.com, the Battery’s exclusive digital ticketing provider.
PIT - 1′ Junior Etou (Kenardo Forbes)
PIT - 83′ Tola Showunmi (Luke Biasi)
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