Battery, Louisville draw 1-1 after controversial ending
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (August 10th, 2023) – The Charleston Battery played Louisville City FC to a rainy 1-1 draw at Lynn Family Stadium on Wednesday. After going down 1-0, Emilio Ycaza scored the equalizer in the 80th minute to steal a point from the hosts. Leland Archer appeared to score the winner in stoppage time but the goal was chalked off to the dismay of the entire squad and staff.
Charleston looked to establish their game along both flanks early, with Pierre Reedy on the left and Beto Avila on the right making strong runs into Louisville’s defensive third. Both sides were strong defensively early on and there wasn’t a shot on target registered in the first half.
Rain began to pour midway through the half and only came down harder as the game wore on. The new and slick conditions forced both teams to adjust their approach, with chances becoming increasingly limited.
The Battery and LouCity went into the break tied at 0-0.
Play resumed in the second half with the rain falling steadily. Despite the weather, both teams began to turn up the tempo and the first shot on target of the night came in the 50th minute via Beto Avila.
LouCity managed to strike first in the 68th minute when Cameron Lancaster found the back of the net.
Charleston, the league’s top road team and leader in points won from losing positions, were not deterred by the 1-0 scoreline against them. The introduction of Fidel Barajas, Robbie Crawford and Tristan Trager off the bench allowed the Battery to gain momentum in the final third in search of an equalizer.
After a series of strong movements on offense, the Battery leveled the score in the 80th minute through Emilio Ycaza’s first-time strike inside the box. Fidel Barajas sent a cross to Ycaza for his eighth assist of the year, the most in the USL Championship. The goal was Ycaza’s first with the Battery.
Confusion and controversy struck in stoppage time when Leland Archer appeared to score the match-winner in the 93rd minute. Archer redirected Crawford’s corner kick to the near post, but the goal was chalked off for a foul assessed to him. The Battery pled their case for no foul but the call stood and the final whistle blew seconds later, resulting in the points being shared in the 1-1 draw.
Charleston’s resilient comeback raised their points gained from losing positions to 15, the most in the league. They additionally added to their league-leading 22 points won in road matches this year.
The Battery’s record now stands at 11W-6L-7D (40 pts), placing them second in the Eastern Conference standings.
Head Coach Ben Pirmann and midfielder Chris Allan discussed the game after the final whistle, with key quotes to follow.
Coach Pirmann on what he saw in the last play of the game…
Obviously, it’s not a foul. No one in the world thought it was a foul. You know when you’re the champions and you go seven times in a row and you’ve got the best stadium and all, the league is going to make sure these things [happen]. It’s fine. Refs make mistakes just like the rest of us. It’s more frustrating when you think about Indy Eleven, Miami and now this. It’s three games out of four on the road where we tie and we’re gonna get a letter from the league saying, ‘yeah, they messed up and we should have won,’ that’s six points.
But, that happens, that’s football. We just feel a little hard-done right now. It’s not the end of the world. It’s just frustrating because I didn’t think we were playing that well and then we totally turned it [around] and the aggression was there. Our tails were up to go for the three points.
Coach Pirmann on the changes that led to the pressure building at the end…
If you look at it from the first half, we were very good in possession. The game was played on our terms, per se, which is very, very difficult to do here. Louisville probably would say the same thing. They were getting the shots and not conceding much.
We needed to do a better job in between the lines, there’s too many giveaways and [we’re] not being press resistant enough in some moments. We were creating more chances because of the turnovers. They played more on our end and got the goal on a sloppy goal kick, really sloppy, bad mistake, bad challenge. If you leave a player like that around, he’s going to score. But, the response was magnificent. We’re number one in the league in returning points from a losing position, but we need to stop being in a losing position.
So proud of the boys. Great ball by Fidel. Great finish. We had four or five other chances, we just needed to have that assertiveness. This is a tough place to play, tough opponent, but we also needed to be a little bit more threatening in those first 70 minutes. The last 20 minutes deserved three points, just didn’t get it.
Coach Pirmann on his message to the team after the game…
We were proud of the resiliency, proud of the effort, proud of the attitude. We have got 10 [matches] left. Every single game is a playoff game and this is a road playoff game against the seven-time Eastern Conference champions. They’re the top. We played well, but you have to go above and beyond. That’s individually being courageous and making plays.
I was proud of Robbie [Crawford], Fidel [Barajas], Tristan [Trager] and Andrew [Booth] coming off the bench. They did a great job. But in terms of the result, it should have been three points. That was taken from us by the referees, that happens. But the attitude, the effort was good. It’s going to be the same on Saturday, Louisville and Detroit are two of the toughest places to play. [Detroit are] coming off a two weeks of rest, so we’ve got our hands full.
Allan on his perspective of the last play of the game…
We didn’t touch [Louisville] really and it should have been a goal. It’s as simple as that. I don’t think there was anything else to say. We just have got to keep rolling. These calls are gonna happen. It’s unfortunate, but as long as we stick together and just dig deep and we go again.
Allan on takeaways from tonight’s performance…
First, I think we got up from the first minute. Even in the second half to start, we got up. There were definitely small periods in the game where I think we need to be buttoned up. But, I think we brought the energy for the most part. It was really good. We worked together and we moved the ball quite well.
We’re walking away and it feels sour. It’s definitely the sort of mindset to have coming away from this place, because it is a hard place to play. [Louisville] try and control things, the fans really get on the atmosphere. So, it’s a tough place but a good point to walk away with.
Allan on turning the page to Saturday’s match in Detroit…
On to the next game. We have got to pick apart Detroit now and then move on. We’re getting out especially with the players who haven’t played as much, coming off the bench. Now they are going to get a chance to really prove to the team that we can pick up three points and bounce back.
The Battery now head to Motown to face Detroit City FC on Sat., Aug. 12, followed by a match against Orange County SC the following Saturday. The Battery return home on Sat., Aug. 26, to play Memphis 901 FC on Back to School Night at Patriots Point. Tickets are available now via SeatGeek.com, the Battery’s exclusive digital ticketing provider.
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