Cincinnati, OH - The Charleston Battery lost, 3-0, to FC Cincinnati Saturday night at Nippert Stadium. The loss snaps the Battery's eleven game unbeaten streak, their longest of 2018.
FC Cincinnati opened the scoring through Emmanuel Ledesma in the 21st minute. Ledesma picked a loose ball in the Battery's defensive third and drove towards the top of the penalty area. Ledesma cut the ball back onto his favored left foot and struck a shot that beat Joe Kuzminsky to put his side ahead early.
The game was open following Ledesma's goal, with both teams able to sustain possession in their attacking third several times through the rest of the first half. The Battery registered its first shot on goal in the 35th minute when Gordon Wild hit a low strike from 25 yards out. Wild's shot short-hopped in front of Spencer Richey, but the goalkeeper was able to hold it in the end.
Ataulla Guerra rattled a shot of the crossbar from 20 yards out as the first half wound down. The chance came after a good spell of possession from the Battery ended with Kotaro Higashi finding Guerra with a negative pass at the top of the penalty area. Guerra created space for his shot and let fly, but the ball bounced off the bar and stayed out.
Following the near miss and a misplaced Battery pass, FC Cincinnati countered quickly. Ledesma again picked up a loose ball that came off of a Battery defender and played Corben Bone who exchanged passes with Nazmi Albadawi and found himself in space 10 yards from goal. Bone calmly tucked the ball into the corner of Kuzminsky's goal to double the host's lead just before halftime.
The Battery chased the game in the second half, throwing numbers forward and possessing the ball well in Cincinnati's defensive third. Charleston created several scoring opportunities throughout the second 45 minutes, but couldn't convert.
The best chance for the Battery to pull a goal back came in the 65th minute when Guerra threaded a pass through to substitute Patrick Okonkwo inside the penalty area. Okonkwo's first touch was too heavy and allowed a recovering defender to disrupt his shot and knock it out for a corner.
FC Cincinnati scored their third goal in the 94th minute as the Battery continued to press. Albadawi received a pass on the right flank and served a low driven ball across that hit off of a Battery defender and went in to put the game out of reach.