Battery fall to Miami 1-2, sold-out crowd at Patriots Point
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Oct. 7, 2023) – The Charleston Battery were defeated 1-2 by Miami FC in front of a sold-out crowd at Patriots Point on Saturday. Augi Williams brought the stadium to life with a strike in the 7th minute, but a pair of goals in the second half for Miami proved to be the difference. Charleston will turn their focus to the regular season finale next Saturday against Birmingham Legion FC before kicking off their playoff run.
The Battery were off to a flying start to the night to get the packed house on their feet. Augi Williams scored the opening tally in the 7th minute to put the Battery ahead 1-0. Tristan Trager forced the issue by driving down the left flank with a cross to Williams. Goalkeeper Jake McGuire saved Williams’ first effort but the save went back to the striker, who sent it to the back of the net in his second attempt.
The goal was Williams’ 14th of the year across all competitions.
Both sides began to settle in defensively after the opening tally. Only three on-target attempts would come through the half-hour mark but all were from the 18-yard box or further. Goalkeeper Trey Muse recorded two saves in the first half. Chris Allan nearly drew more blood in the 33rd minute, but his strike from distance rocked off the woodwork.
Williams’ goal held through halftime as the Battery took the 1-0 lead into the break. Charleston also held the majority of possession against Miami, at 58% to 42%.
Play resumed with neither side making a change to personnel. Miami were awarded a penalty in the 55th minute after Ryan Telfer went to ground while attempting a dribble inside the box. Joaquin Rivas converted from the spot a moment later, despite Muse guessing correctly in his save attempt.
Charleston pushed for another go-ahead goal after conceding, with Emilio Ycaza and Derek Dodson registering shots through the 77th minute. Miami, however, managed to find the breakthrough goal in the 79th minute via Michael Salazar to make the score 1-2.
The Battery registered more passes in the opposition’s half and in the final third than Miami in the second half, but were unable to add a second goal before the final whistle.
Saturday’s loss marks the second consecutive for the club. The team will look to get back on track in the final regular season match of the season next weekend before the playoffs start.
Charleston’s record moves to 16W-9L-8D (56 pts), locking their spot in third in the conference standings.
Head Coach Ben Pirmann and midfielder Chris Allan addressed the media after the match, with key quotes to follow.
Coach Pirmann on what was difficult about tonight…
It’s frustrating, but it’s football. We’ve had a great season, we’ve got a home playoff match. We’re going to be in third place. We’re really excited about that. The bad thing is that we haven’t learned from our mistakes. We definitely haven’t learned enough over the last three games.
We get to go into the playoffs and fight and hunt, but this is going to be like a playoff game, they’ve all been like that lately. I’m proud of the boys in terms of attitude and effort. We just need to execute better.
Coach Pirmann on what needs to change moving forward…
Candidly, maybe it’s personnel, maybe it’s an identity, maybe it’s training habits, maybe it’s accountability. We’re the second-youngest team in the league, [but] that might be an excuse.
We’ve got too many guys who aren’t focused on the task at hand. We’ve beat it into them. We’ve been focused on it. Over 33 games, a lot of stuff has gone our way. We missed a few chances. To your point, we’ve got to execute. It’s our job. In two weeks’ time though, that’s going to be the season one way or the other.
One more big game next weekend. I’m so proud of our supporters in our club. What an incredible night, I feel bad that we didn’t get to push to get all three points.
Coach Pirmann the first sold-out crowd of the season…
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Night, incredible atmosphere, incredible crowd. We are becoming a destination where players want to be. We can’t control the result. We played a very excellent game. There were moments of ill-discipline that we’ve written up on the board for the last month, but with that being said, I think our supporters can be proud of this group.
We’ve worked our tails off. We were fighting. We were hungry. Chances were there. We played an exciting brand of football. We just need to fine-tune a couple of details, but very honored to be with this club. Very proud of our supporters, proud of our front office for what they’ve done. Proud of the Lowcountry community for turning up and supporting our boys.
Allan on what changed in the second half of the match…
I think we really took our foot off the gas and I think that’s the disappointing thing. That was the difference in the second half. Also, finishing chances [was the difference], which is quite easy to say, but at the same time, we’ve kept the ball quite well in the final third. So, we’ve definitely got to look at that. When we have chances, we have to take them.
Allan on the adjustments to make ahead of the regular season finale…
Look at film, clip it and make sure we know where we need to put it right. Then, just forget about it and then just straight on to the next opponent, because it’s the business end of the season. We have to focus and, like I said, not take our foot off the gas and press every team on their throat now.
I think everyone needs to be accountable, individually and as a team, each training session. It’s definitely something we all just need to push each other forward in that regard.
Allan on his message to the fans for their support shown tonight…
Just, thank you so much. They are the 12th man and they brought the energy all game long. Absolutely fantastic. We really can’t thank them enough. Just get to the game and be loud, we’ll put some exciting football on display.
The Battery conclude the regular season at home against Birmingham Legion FC on Sat., Oct. 14, while celebrating Fan Appreciation Night at Patriots Point. Playoffs begin the following weekend with the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Patriots Point, on Sun., Oct. 22, at 4 p.m. ET (opponent TBD). Tickets for both matches are available now via SeatGeek.com, the Battery’s exclusive digital ticketing provider.
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