Booth’s late equalizer steals Battery a point at Miami
MIAMI (July 15, 2023) – The Charleston Battery played Miami FC to a 1-1 draw at FIU Stadium on Saturday. After a spirited but scoreless start to the match with 16 shots between both teams in the first half, the game was decided late by Andrew Booth’s equalizer in the 97th minute. The FIU alumnus’ goal earned the Battery a point to wrap up the away trip before returning home to face first-place Pittsburgh on Sat., July 22.
The night got off to a fast start with Charleston nearly opening the scoring off a set piece in the 4th minute. Beto Avila hit a strong header on goal off Arturo Rodriguez’s free-kick that forced a finger-tip save from Adrían Zendejas, Nick Markanich then sent in a shot off the rebound and Zendejas made another save.
Miami were awarded a penalty in the 6th minute after Trey Myse collided with Kyle Murphy in the box while going after the ball. Muse, however, rose to the occasion and saved Murphy’s spot attempt with a correct guess to parry the ball away. Avila nearly scored again minutes later but his shot was saved off the line by defender Moises Hernandez.
Both sides began to settle down from the earlier intensity and size each other up as the half wore on. After 16 shots in the first 45 minutes, Charleston and Miami went into halftime tied at 0-0. Muse tallied two saves to keep Miami off the board.
Charleston looked to start the second half on the front foot, Augi Williams came close to scoring the opening goal in the 56th minute with a header on target but right to Zendejas. Muse was tested again moments later and made another save, against Gabriel Cabral. Leland Archer commanded a presence in the defensive third, leading the match in clearances (seven).
Newly-signed midfielder Pierre Reedy made his Battery debut in the 65th minute as a substitute in place of Nick Markanich.
The hosts grabbed the opening goal in the 83rd minute via Ben Mines after Muse saved Bolu Akinyode’s initial shot.
Despite being down 1-0, the Battery continued to apply pressure in search of a goal.
Charleston’s efforts paid off in stoppage time when Andrew Booth scored the equalizer in the 97th minute after being subbed in earlier in the second half. The FIU alumnus placed a header off Robbie Crawford’s corner kick perfectly through the defense and to the far post. The goal was Booth’s second of the season and the assist was Crawford’s second.
Booth’s equalizer held through the final minutes of stoppage time, earning the Battery a point in the 1-1 draw to close the road trip.
As of writing, the Battery have won 11 points from losing positions in the USL Championship this season, more than any other team.
Charleston’s record now stands at 9W-5L-6D (33 pts), placing them third in the Eastern Conference table.
Head Coach Ben Pirmann and midfielder Robbie Crawford discussed the match after the final whistle, with key quotes to follow.
Coach Pirmann on his takeaways from the match…
I’m unbelievably proud of this group. With that being said, we need to look in the mirror and improve a couple of things. In the first 30 minutes, we were completely dominant. But, we didn’t reward ourselves [with a goal] and we don’t continue to do the things that have made us successful in the beginning of the game. I don’t know if we get tired and then mentally we stop making good decisions, but it’s definitely something that myself and the coaching staff have reflected on and are looking to improve.
Technically and tactically from the game, we knew going in that it was going to be tight. But for the first 30 minutes, we were completely dominant. We hit the crossbar and had the chances cleared off the line, but overall, I’m proud of the group.
Coach Pirmann on the team making improvements ahead of the Pittsburgh match…
We need to reflect on [the game]. We went through a spell where we were awful in the first 15 to 20 minutes out of the gate. Now we’ve played back-to-back games where we’ve been incredible coming out the gate. So, we need to reflect and sustain it and I think part of that is our comfort level. We need to be more comfortable keeping the ball, moving the ball side to side, and being a little bit more patient.
When we don’t have possession, we need to be more disciplined, creating the double teams in the wide areas and making sure we’re defending the danger zones. It was frustrating from those aspects. Individual mistakes will happen, but that gets rectified with our training habits, with what we do every day and our lifestyle. We played two of our best bits of football the whole year, but we’ve also made too many mistakes.
Coach Pirmann on Andrew Booth getting back on the scoresheet…
It’s awesome. He’s in a lot of ways the epitome of what we want in a Battery player; he’s selfless, he’s here for the team, he doesn’t have any ego. Andrew has had a tough season because of some knocks and some guys being selected over him, but he just wants to do whatever he can to help the team. He’s good in the air and he’s got good timing. I’m proud for him, especially in his hometown and at his alma mater.
Crawford on the team battling back again to earn a point…
It shows that we’ve got the team spirit, energy, fitness levels, desire to win and get what we can from any game and keep going until the final whistle. That’s what we try to implement and work on every day. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t be in that position. We’d be fighting for taking the lead and keeping clean sheets, not giving up softer goals. But, that can happen in this league. On the road, that can be difficult and things happen, but we have got to adapt. Thankfully, we did it again tonight.
Crawford on what was difficult about the match…
Miami has got a lot of talent. They’ve got a new manager and [some guys] are looking to start fresh and impress the new guy that’s come in. We know there are obstacles in our way, but at the same time, Coach Pirmann said at halftime that we had eight chances from inside the box. We started really well and dominated. In that aspect, we’re disappointed not to take the lead, but we respect the teams in this league, especially on the road.
Crawford on turning the page towards Pittsburgh at home on Saturday…
We know they’re up there in the league table with us and there’s a lot on the line. Also a few familiar faces in their squads, it will be nice to see them but come Saturday night, we’re all focused on three points. We know what’s at stake. It’ll be nice to be home and in front of our fans, it’s been a long time. So, it’s a big night for everyone.
The Battery return home to Patriots Point on Sat., July 22, to take on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in a game that will include the summer-long $3 beer promotion. Tickets are available now via SeatGeek.com, the Battery’s exclusive digital ticketing provider.
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